- Critic's Rating - 8.0/108/10
Icarus is a character from Greek mythology. The myth is that Icarus’s father had designed wings made of wax, for himself and Icarus and warned him not to fly too high or too low but hang in somewhere in the middle. But, the overambitious Icarus, ignores this warning and flies very high in the sky, too close to the Sun. The heat of the Sun melts its wings and Icarus falls into a sea, somewhere in Greece.
This Documentary, named after this overambitious character who reveled in this God like feeling, soaring into the sky, tells us about a similar story of a country that aims too high in the Olympic Games and resorts to illicit and unfair practices to reach higher, but the myth does not come true in reality; here this Icarus’s wings do not melt and nor does he die. Icarus, a Netflix documentary, is about this appalling state of affairs where a doping scam as big as this is, outright, dismissed by the ones in the power.
Icarus is an American documentary made by Bryan Fogel. He is mostly at this center of this revealing documentary. At first, we see him as this, Tour de France aspirant and then the discovery of Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal shatters his world and he decides to embark onto this incredible journey of unearthing the whole sham of Anti-doping agency in Russia and unmasking the horrors of Politics that have seeped into the Joy of Sport and contaminated it forever, with a vicious thirst for superiority and victory.
Fogel, decides to drug himself and evade being caught in the doping tests to, in his own words, “Prove that the Anti-doping system is bullshit! “ In the process of using the drugs on himself and then participating in certain cycling competitions, he comes across the Director of the Anti-doping lab of Russia, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, Gregory is a scientist and is the head of the Anti-doping lab and helps Fogel in using the drugs and also smuggling his Urine samples from Los Angeles to Russia and swapping them with clean urine samples. Gregory is an intrinsic part of the whole doping scandal and has a major role to play in helping the Russian athletes walkaway clean, while they are actually poisoned with performance enhancing steroids.
Gregory agrees to be a part of Fogel’s efforts in uncovering this conspiracy and they both being to document facts and reports that make unsettling and incredible revelations about the people involved, or rather, the people who masterminded this conspiracy. It is both tragic and infuriating to see that the biggest of world leaders are either a part of this or have been bystanders, showing a blind eye to the whole farce. Although Gregory has a significant role in this gigantic fraud, he decides to tell the truth and believes that telling the truth will set him free, at least from his ever-questioning conscience but little does he realize that telling the truth would push him into a further state of danger and confinement, this time, from his own government, the people, about whom, he revealed the truth.
It’s a groundbreaking documentary, for nothing but the content that it deals with. However, Bryan Fogel, who made this, features himself a little too much in the film. It does take some time for the feature to sink its teeth into the actual exercise of presenting the truth to the people. The most unfortunate and disheartening part of this matter is that, the man who chose to surrender and tell the truth about the wrong-doings of a powerful nation, is being hunt for and the primary architects of this sham are still ruling the roost. This Ironic state of affairs leaves us thinking about the world we are living in and where it is headed; the very thought of it is terrifying.
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Every time you watch a sports event, after watching this film, you surely will hesitate for a moment, to appreciate the victorious, such is the state, world politics has put us in and this stunning documentary accentuates the plight of the world, like nothing ever did. This mind-blowing documentation of the misdoings of the men in Power, is essential viewing.