Announced with great fanfare, the Pogmentary is available on Amazon Prime since June 17. Pure communication exercise halfway between reality TV and cartoon football, this docu-series of five thirty-minute episodes on Paul Pogba is nevertheless very disappointing, for a very simple reason: it achieves the feat of doing absolutely nothing say about his subject.
A mix of Keeping up with the Kardashians and D’Olive and Tom : this is basically what the Pogmentary, this five-episode docu-series that Amazon Prime has been broadcasting since June 17 about Paul Pogba. Because yes, in what is a pure communication exercise, the midfielder of Manchester United and the France team reveals himself in two ways: first, a dive into his private life, sometimes touching, sometimes annoying, sometimes it pushes American-style self-starification far, and secondly, an account of the trajectory of La Pioche, from the grounds of Le Havre to those of Old Trafford, romanticized as possible. In fact, also in form, the Pogmentary alternates between conventional indoor camera sessions and flashbacks in the form of well-calibrated cartoons, all interspersed with horrible interludes close to clips in bad taste, based on press headlines, tweets or posts. But the main problem is that contrary to its promise – to reveal who Paul Pogba really is – the documentary, which lasts two and a half hours, reveals almost nothing that we do not already know. Move along, nothing to see.
Show all and say nothing
The promise of the documentary, however seductive, is paradoxically summed up in its very last moments: “There you are, now you know everything about me. » And in fact, Paul Pogba tried to give a glimpse for five episodes behind the scenes of his life, his entourage, his relatives and his daily life. Although it should be kept in mind that this is more of a communication exercise than real stolen moments, the Pogmentary reveals a bit of what the life of a football player is like, a part usually left out of sight of the cameras: pell-mell, we find physical preparation, holidays, religion, injuries, and more striking, a dose of “charity”, especially during a touching sequence, although dispatched in a few minutes, when the midfielder of United goes to distribute meals to disadvantaged populations in Manchester. The rest is predictably, quite banal: basically, at the Pogbas too, although with a little more money, we run from right to left to watch the children, we bicker to pack the suitcases before leaving for holidays and a preponderant place is given to the family. Nothing new then, nothing really transcendent in any case.
On football strictly speaking, we don’t learn anything either, or almost, if not things we already suspected: the fact that the executives of the Blues were not aware of the return of Karim Benzema, that the France team thought the match was “folded” against Switzerland, in the round of 16 of the Euro, and that Paul Pogba is not the same in club as in international selection. Everything is embellished with hollow and worn-out cliches as possible. “Your body is your working tool; when you understand that, you understand everything. » Or : “When you don’t let go, when you are positive in your head, nothing will change, you will always remain yourself. » And when Paulo’s lawyer tries to answer the question proposed by the documentary, that is to say “What is it to be a Pogba? » we can’t help but smile at the answer given: “It’s about being a warrior, being honest, and following your dreams. » Basically, it’s being a characterInazuma Eleven : it’s all to his credit, of course, especially since we feel he’s sincere, honest and rather sympathetic, but the conclusion remains light compared to the promise displayed with great fanfare.
Paul Pogba, star of his own world
As for the red thread of the documentary, atrophied as possible, it generally boils down to one question: “Will or not go? And if so, why ? » Only, in this respect, the documentary turns in circles and repeats itself. On the one hand because it is generally poorly structured, alternating flashbacks and news without us understanding the sequences, or even the period in which we find ourselves. On the other hand, because neither Pogba nor his entourage provide a clear and definitive answer to the question, nor even any solid explanation. On the contrary, each time it is approached, it is evasive, constantly bringing out the same clichés: “In football, everything goes very quickly” Where “we will have to study all the options that present themselves” . Worse, the 29-year-old evades the question. “People want lots of informationhe blurts out. But I can’t actually give them anything. » Very good, but then, why make a documentary of five 30-minute episodes? The answer is contained in another rowdy and rather surprising assertion of the Pioche, swung a few moments later. “If it’s a transfer [son avenir], I don’t want to be in the dark. »
Because yes, in a somewhat disturbing way, what emerges from the Pogmentary is a kind of cult of individuality pushed to the extreme, almost a desire to prove at all costs that his character is a “star” even if it means sometimes turningego trip. Between the praiseworthy remarks of his companion and the uncomfortable compliments of a Blaise Matuidi perched on a yacht who stubbornly defends him that he is known to the scale “global” , Paul Pogba builds his own legend. And in fact, with the exception of three very brief sequences with Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi and Raphaël Varane, the native of Lagny-sur-Marne does not have a single word for his partners. The evocation of the collective only appears in two ways: either to glorify a French team within which Paulo affirms that he is a “leader” , or to scold the performance of a Manchester United which we end up saying, to hear his player, that he is weak on the ground, disrespectful outside, and overall, smaller than the immense Paul Pogba. This is where the shoe pinches: staggeringly, the Red Devils have been trampled throughout the series, including Sir Alex and a fabulous extension offer. Enough to achieve the opposite objective of that which was expected, by doing more harm than good to the image of the player. Or how to properly screw up a communication exercise that seemed, on the surface, impossible to miss.
By Valentin Lutz