Review of “The Edge of Everything” by Ronnie O’Sullivan: Snooker legend dissects his conflicting feelings towards the game he both adores and despises.

During the final match of the 2022 World Snooker Championships, a television analyst is showering praise on Ronnie O’Sullivan. Despite losing a few frames to Judd Trump, O’Sullivan has regained his composure and the analyst is in awe of his relaxed and composed demeanor. However, behind the scenes, we have witnessed a different side of O’Sullivan as he expresses his nervousness and frustration to his psychiatrist, Prof Steve Peters. With a potential seventh world title on the line and the chance to equal Stephen Hendry’s record, O’Sullivan’s emotions are running high. At 46 years old, it is uncertain how many more finals he has in him. As history shows, O’Sullivan did ultimately defeat Trump by a score of 18-13.

If you’re watching this entertaining documentary utterly unbothered about whether or not he is snooker’s greatest player (“he’s an artist” says Hendry), the good news is that O’Sullivan is brilliant company. He’s got the gift of the gab, a sense of humour and he’s relaxed with his vulnerability: talkative about his addictions and mental health struggles. Nattering away to director Sam Blair, he comes over as an all-round nice bloke. Significantly, perhaps, the film is exec produced by another Essex boy, David Beckham.

O’Sullivan developed a passion for snooker at a young age and was driven to excel by his father Ronnie Senior, who was larger than life. According to O’Sullivan, he needed this push in order to avoid failure. However, in 1992, the same year he became a professional, Ronnie Senior was imprisoned for murder. In his twenties, O’Sullivan struggled with drug addiction and his friend Damien Hirst recalls receiving a call to take him to the Priory. Nowadays, O’Sullivan indulges in his love for scones with clotted cream from M&S.

I am uncertain if a two-hour movie is sufficient to unravel his complicated connection with snooker (he has been seeing psychiatrist Peters for 10 years). During his youth as a player, there were instances when he felt unbeatable. He is still in pursuit of that feeling. O’Sullivan contemplates that the best option would be to quit. However, he has managed to find a way to not let it consume him.