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MouthShut Score

100%
3.88 

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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member  
Bangalore India
Entertaining but not very accurate!
19 days ago 346 Views

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Having deemed this would be the most entertaining watch this weekend, not having watched any racing film in a long time, I decided to give this a shot.


MAIN CAST:


Christian Bale. Ken Miles


Matt Damon. Carroll Shelby


Josh Lucas. Leo Beebe


Tracey Letts. Henry Ford II


Catriona Balfe. Mollie Miles


THE ESSENTIAL PLOT:


In my opinion, the main aim of the film was to showcase Ford's rise as a force to reckon with in edurance car racing in 1966 challenging Ferrari's dominance that year and Ken Miles's contribution towards the same.


Caroll Shellby, a former Le Mans racing veteran is roped in to build and test a Ford car capable of being a force at the 1966 Le Mans race, where they are a nobody until then. Shellby sees Miles as a perfect driver for the challenge, who is also an able mechanic, being able to foresee problems in car development.


The film then revolves around Ford's efforts to rise as a name in endurance sports racing and Shellby and Miles's internal and external struggles to get where they want to be.


ASPECTS OF THE FILM:


PERFORMANCES:Christian Bale and Matt Damon both put in pretty good performances. Other performances didn't strike one as anything superb, but those roles were more trivial.


DIRECTION:I think James Mangold does a fair job of directing the script at hand with a good balance between the thrill, story coverage and drama. I've seen worse films made on similar subjects.


STORY+ SCREENPLAY:The story is what feels "incomplete" as on one hand, one is calling it "Ford vs Ferrari". But that story just takes off where this movie ends. This story seemed more suited to a film called "Ken Miles: The Ford Prodigy" or "First Miles of Ford Resurgence" etc. Rather than naming it so with only the relevant subject matter of 1966.


"Ford" were a nobody before 1966 in this area, while Ferrari was a force from long before. Not only that, Ferrari had a 1-2-3 finish in Daytona the following year. The Ferrari cars that couldn't finish the Le Mans race in 1966, actually did well in 1967, with cars #21 coming in 2nd and #24 coming in 3rd, clinching the "Manufacturers' Championship" in 1967. For a film called "Ford vs Ferrari", all this was simply left focusing mainly on Ken Miles.


The screenplay was good for the part of the story it covered. The full story would've required a different screenplay.


OTHER NOTABLE THINGS:


1]One thing which was a bit difficult to digest was this being a 24 hour endurance race, a change of tyres under wet conditions should've been imperative. It is a pretty big factor even in shorter races like F1 racing. In the film, Ken Miles just keeps braving the rain like there's no tomorrow.


What I got to know from my reading about the 1966 race is that the Ferraris were doing better under wet conditions compared to the Ford cars during the race. The Ford cars were doing better under dry conditions. Not really touched upon here.


2]The pit stops shown in the film were pretty long. I wonder if the actual pit stops were so slow. A lot of the car races are actually decided in the no. of pitstops and the length of the pitstops. It can sometimes decide who wins and who does not.


3]Another befuddling aspect is the team orders for Ken Miles to slow down when he was way ahead of his teammates. Miles having won preceding important races of the season stood to gain nothing. But this was based on facts, so I put it down to stupid Ford PR stunts instead of bad/debatable depiction.


4]Ken's wife and son's reaction when Ken slowed down for his teammates seemed to be elation and relief. For me, it makes little sense. A normal reaction should correspond to being happy seeing your husband/father stand out instead of being limited by some stupid team orders.


All in all, it was an entertaining one time watch, which only dishes out limited coverage of its proposed story with a few unconvincing parts. Not something I'll remember for long. I would perhaps, at best, give it a 7/10.


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