Time Versus Tom and Vice Versa

DATELINE:  Brady’s Life

movietone news   march of time news

The first 24-minute episode of the six-part series on and about Tom Brady revealed nothing and everything. It was the best of documentaries and the worst of documentaries. It’s called Tom Versus Time, and it is like watching the old chestnut March of Time in video newsreel format.

Tom Brady morphs into Charles Foster Kane.

No, Gotham Chopra is not Charles Dickens, and Tom is no David Copperfield. There is more of Dorian Gray here than gravy. The infomercial known as Brady’s life is like a bit of undigested beef. It just sits there.

If you want shock, Tom does not refer to Swami Belichick as “Coach,” his usual reverential term for 17 years. He calls him, heaven forfend, “Belichick,” and shares his notes from one of the Head Coach’s lectures. It is filled with laughable platitudes, and Tom keeps a wink in his hip pocket.

Brady also shows his four-game suspension letter, which he enjoys for its motivational impact. Tom follows in the carbon footprints of motivational charlatan Tony Robbins. They even did a vaudeville act together in Boston this year.

Tom allows quite an intimate picture of his children, which most celebrities avoid. It seems to follow his dictum that nothing matters but winning.

If episode one conveys any sense out of nonsense, it is that there is no straightforward narrative line here. We see clips from all over the year, piled on the previous with a little philosophical mortar to hold them together.

Gotham’s city of Brady may be a bit heavy on bats in the belfry. Director Gotham Chopra knows what idolization means. Off the field Tom Brady is clearly a koo-koo bird.

This is homage and paean to Tom, as directed by an adoring Boswell. You won’t find T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Fire here, only six. It is, after all, an infomercial.

Of all Tom’s thousands of player-friends over two decades, only two knights show up at the Round Table: Julie Edelman and Danny Amendola. There is no Tom in team Gillette, but we do see Alex Guerrero, the Merlin of football wizards, giving Brady a solid massage in this medium well-done documentary.

The star quarterback is entitled to his fair share of egomania, considering his impressive  accomplishments. Walking on water will do that for Lawrence of Arabia and Tom Brady. The adoring masses tend to confirm his warrior status, though he has no plan here to sell himself short.

More to come, like a Batman cliffhanger.