November 29, 2019
If you love Andy Murray, you will find one moment of silence in this documentary almost unimaginably moving.
We sometimes forget the cumulative effect of what Murray went though as a child. Before we explore his very soul, there are plenty of hospitals and gyms to negotiate with his concerned team. Ever wondered what the poor man must have been going through behind the scenes these past two troubled years? It is not just his own career on the line. So many more people seem to depend on him. They work so hard with him – even when it emerges they are on the wrong track. For any sportspeople returning from injury, or perhaps unable to appreciate fully just how lucky they are to be healthy, this documentary is definitely for you too.
Murray’s openness in adversity also helps tennis fans to get to know him so much better. And to love him even more.
But this carefully-crafted piece of work is so much deeper than we might have expected.”Resurfacing” shows that you can follow a sports star around hospitals and gyms with a camera all you like. But the most powerful moment will come with no lights. No camera. No action. Just a few words in the night. And above all, the most moving moment will come in a silence. Thoughtfully, the film-makers ensured Andy could record his thoughts day or night. And there is one stunningly simple scene, without pictures, when Murray describes why tennis means so much to him. He touches upon the massacre at his primary school in Dunblane – and how well he knew the perpetrator. Then he points out that his parents were divorced only twelve months later. Andy has talked about the massacre and the divorce before. But to put them so close together. This was heartbreaking.
But Murray hasn’t finished.
Then he explains how his big brother Jamie leaves home soon after that too. This is where we hear the deafening silence as Murray fights back the tears. Looking back, the poor young man was already teetering on the brink from the massacre and the divorce. But he still had his big brother to process things alongside. To rely on. They had always done everything together, he points out. Then Jamie is gone too. And that, you sense from the moving moment of silence in this documentary, is where things really became almost too much to bear for the young Andy Murray. He struggled to breathe during tennis matches, although tennis had always been his escape from the wider emotional pain. Somehow he persevered.
As he reflects on all this, so simply yet so profoundly in the night, his short account of so much is almost haunting.
Especially when followed by tears of despair when he realises that tennis, that perfect escape mechanism all his life, may soon be beyond him. The documentary needs such moments of raw emotion because it has issues to overcome. It is a little long. Too focused on 2018. Not focused enough on 2019. There is none of the sheer joy of Wimbledon 2019 and his highly entertaining doubles partnership with Serena. And presumably the singles glory of Antwerp – the perfect symbol of his triumph over adversity – comes too late for inclusion. Even so, the flashbacks are effective. Murray’s Olympic, US Open and Wimbledon triumphs give the narrative a much-needed lift.
“Resurfacing” also creates what we suspect will be a long-lasting feeling in the viewer.
Because we now feel like we have been on the entire emotional and medical journey with Murray, we so want to see him enjoy Wimbledon one more time as a singles player. We share a desire for him to do superbly well again at the home of tennis. That is the best compliment to the documentary – and to Andy as a human being.