April 11, 2024
Peter Calder

"Draft Day": A Slow Incline (2 minute read)

"Draft Day" is an interesting concept for a film.

In many ways, I enjoy it, and in many ways, I don't.

"Draft Day" is what it says in the title: a film about the NFL Draft Day and follows a general manager negotiating and hopping through various hoops to bring his team back to glory. Similarly to  "Uncut Gems," the film takes place over a short period. "Draft Day" starts at the beginning of draft day and ends at the end.

Both films also use suspense, although I  would say "Uncut Gems" does a much better way of utilizing it. "Uncut Gems" keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat for a lot of the film; "Draft Day" has a slower suspending crescendo, with any major action in the film not happening until most of the way through.  

The cast was very impressive, with many big names and familiar faces. In terms of the story, it's an interesting angle to take. It's an inside look at what it could look like behind the scenes of a big franchise and the moves it takes to get some of your favourite players. Of course, it also relies on all the internal conflicts between players and personnel and external factors like competing teams.

A tool I noticed they used quite a bit in this film was graphical transitions between shots and scenes to merge them; I'm not a big fan of them because it felt like it just takes you out of the film and is more of a distraction rather than a subtle connection between shots or scenes (which is the purpose of a transition). I think they were possibly trying to use it to keep the audience more engaged during the initial three-quarters of the film because there is so little action.

I will say, though, that the payoff is very dramatic and big, so maybe there is some good to the slow crescendo of suspense in the beginning; all the little details in the beginning add to the stakes being ramped up and more dramatic in the end.  

"Draft Day" is also an easy watch, meaning it's one of those "classic" or nostalgic feeling sports films that makes you feel good.

Ultimately, there isn't a whole lot of character development or building; I would say it's more like the film starts with a lot of bitter, negative connections and relationships between characters and in the end, they all end up positive and better, but I  wouldn't say the individual characters changed or evolved in the film.

The cast was the best part of the film for me; there were many big names and also some cameos with smaller roles. Standouts were Kevin Costner and Chadwick Boseman. It gives a very romantic look at the ins and outs of what the sports business can be like, but it is not necessarily very realistic or believable.

I think, overall, it's a fun movie to watch with the family or at school, which is where I actually watched it for the first time.