Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes released today on Amazon Prime Video, the same day the English scored a commanding century against South Africa. This is a story that captures England captain, Ben Stokes’ journey through the ups and downs of his illustrious career.
Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review: Skip It or Watch It?
I will get straight to the point—The Review. Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review is not necessarily a must watch documentary. However, it is an important one.
It is skippable in the sense that Ben Stokes’ career is an open book—Humble roots in New Zealand, an upcoming youngster in the England circuit, The Bristol brawl incident, eleven-month court trial & media pressure, Carlos Brathwaite 4 sixes in Kolkata, IPL heroics, the 2019 World Cup final and Headingly heist, finger and knee injuries, his father’s terminal brain cancer, mother’s legal suit against The Sun newspaper for exploiting another personal tragedy, global pandemic, mental health break, and captaincy comeback. In a sense, nothing new is revealed about Ben Stokes. In addition, the picturization and flashback sequences are not the most coherent.
However, it is an important film due to the first-person points of view of Stokes & his family as well as Sam Mendes’ interview with Stokes while he was struggling with his mental health. It was courageous for Stokes to explain what he was going through on such a large platform. Appearances of Joe Root, Stuart Broad, manager Neil Fairbrother, and Stokes’ father adds immense value to the documentary.
Watch It For: The Interview, Highlight Packages, Ben Stokes’ cricket practice videos from U-12 & U-15 cricket, Mark Wood’s comic timing, Joe Root’s heartfelt messages
Don’t Watch it for: The overly dramatic background music
Also Read: 45 Best Sport Movies & Documentaries (Updated 2022) – Hollywood & Bollywood Combined
Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Release Date, How to Watch, Director, Actors
Release Date: August 26, 2022
How To Watch: (Amazon Prime Video Link)
Title Name: Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes
Prime Video Summary: A refreshingly honest film about an extraordinary cricketer. Directors Chris Grubb and Luke Mellows were allowed unprecedented access to Ben’s Life with interviews and insights by Sam Mendes.
Protagonist: Ben Stokes
- Teammates: Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer
- Commentators/Ex-Cricketers: Ian Bishop, Isa Guha, Shane Warne
- Other: Dean Wilson (journalist), Phil Scott (England’s strength & conditioning coach), Neil Fairbrother (Stokes’ Manager), Vithushan Ehantharajah
- Family: Clare Stokes (Wife), Gerard Stokes (Father), Deborah Stokes (Mother)
Directed By: Chris Grubb, Luke Mellows
Produced By: Sunil Patel, Sam Mendes, Mark Cole
Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Language: EnglishEmbed from Getty Images
7 Life Lessons and Quotes from Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Documentary
Here are some quotes from the documentary that paints a picture of Ben Stokes’ overall personality.
*Spoiler Alert Note: The quotes below are directly from the documentary and related clips in case you are planning to watch the documentary first.
1. Trouble, Trouble, Trouble
Quote: Trouble follows him around
“Trouble follows him around” – Nasser Hussain (clip from old interview)Tweet
Context: The Bristol brawl halted Stokes career due to the litigation, investigation, and media tensions that followed. The documentary walks through what Stokes’ family went through at this point. Although he was not found guilty of affray, the media only portrayed the negative side of things. Stokes had already been involved in a few incidents earlier in the England team like punching lockers, getting banned from driving to four speeding tickets, etc., and this incident was almost the nail in the coffin.
Stokes clears up what exactly happened and why he was involved in the incident in the documentary (he was defending his friends from homophobic abuses)
2. Heartbreak at the 2016 T20 World Cup Final
Quotes: That experience would have broken lesser mortals; Makes you even more hungry
“That experience would have broken lesser mortals” – Ian BishopTweet
“Makes you even more hungry” – Shane WarneTweet
Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup Final would forever be remembered for Ian Bishop’s iconic Remember the Name phrase when describing Carlos Brathwaite’s heroics. On the other end of the spectrum was Stokes, absolutely gutted. How he came back from the lows of 2016 to the highs of 2019s is an inspirational journey for all.Embed from Getty Images
3. Embrace Failure
Quotes: Setbacks are your biggest teachers; Rather than fearing failure. Embrace it.
“Setbacks are your biggest teachers” – Ben StokesTweet
“Rather than fearing failure. Embrace it” – Ben StokesTweet
Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup final was a disappointment. However, it is portrayed in the film that the 2017 Bristol incident was the most impactful turning point in Ben Stokes’ career and life. He became a more mature individual, grew closer to family, and learned which people who could trust. At this point, he almost quit cricket and had to dive deep to figure out what used to drive him to give it his all.
4. Mental Health Awareness
Quote: This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible; I noticed how emotionless I was
“This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible” – Joe RootTweet
“Honestly I could have seen him never play again” – Stuart BroadTweet
“I noticed how emotionless I was” – Ben StokesTweet
Context: The interview was conducted two weeks after Ben Stokes’ suffered his major panic attack and decided to take a break from cricket. Stokes looked visibly fatigued and recalled a panic attack he suffered which included shortness of breath.
Mental health, especially in sport, is an important topic and can occur to anybody regardless of his or her stature.
5. The Larger-Than-Life Hero
Quote: His life is a story you could not script; Trauma, grief, strength, and defiance
“His life is a story you could not script” – Sam MendesTweet
“He has a bit that one else has…magic…Not many people see the best side of him…I’m just very grateful that I have” – Joe RootTweet
“The film is about loss in the time of lockdown…it’s about trauma and grief, but also strength and defiance.” – Sam MendesTweet
Context: Rarely has a cricketer in recent memory suffered the ebbs and flows to the extent as Stokes has. He has touched glory with starring roles in World Cup and Ashes victories. On the other hand, he has had to see his father, a former Rugby league player in New Zealand, pass away after a fight with terminal brain cancer.
Yet, he gives it his all in those tireless bowling spells with injured knees or directs a comeback with the bat when there is no hope or takes a catch that only Ben Stokes can – No Way, You Cannot Do That Ben Stokes! He has flaws, he has magic, he is human, he is greatness.
Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Trailer
If you have yet to see this documentary, check out the trailer below.
Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Chris Grubb & Luke Mellows is the director of Ben Stokes – Phoenix from the Ashes. Sam Mendes, who also interviews Ben Stokes, is the producer alongside Sunil Patel & Mark Cole.
Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes is released in Amazon Prime Video on August 26, 2022 worldwide.
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