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TIFF 2019 Film Review: “Ford v Ferrari” (2019) ★★★★★


To be fearless, courage is the main driver to do something unthinkable and ambitious. How many of us will be ready to get into a superfast car to participate in a race? To compete at such an event requires more than just determination. So many things might be at stake, including one’s life. But when it comes to making history, do we really care about the price we must pay to achieve that?

“Ford v Ferrari” is one of the most interesting biopics in the recent decade that concentrates not only on three or four characters namely Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), Ken Miles (Christian Bale), Henry Ford II, and Enzo Ferrari but the cars and their ability to win the 24-hour race at Le Mans in France in 1966. But before Shelby and Miles begin their remarkable quest, they must beat corporate interference and leave behind their own demons, conflicts, and complex personalities that can be the main factor for both Miles and Shelby not being able to handle each other emotionally.

Ken Miles, a British racer has a temper but is honest and straightforward. Perhaps, Carroll Shelby is the only one who Miles listens to, which makes it even more interesting to see how the two different men can stand against the Ford corporation that has its own rules and regulations. However, despite all their differences, history in France will be made but through steely character and perseverance which only one racer could showcase – Ken Miles.

Written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller and directed by James Mangold, the film captures that there is no big difference between chess and racing a car, as in both cases an intelligent mind is required to read the opponent’s move ahead of time in order to win the game in the end. While one game is safe, the other one has a risk to human life. The film puts all the prejudices aside and continues exploring the history-making moment that will certainly be remembered for a very long time.

As for the performances, both Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as Ken Miles shine in every scene. Their strangely impressive on-screen chemistry creates the most tender relationship showing the power of friendship off-race and on-race at the same time. As for the film, everything happens so fast, as if its intention was to break the world record. Despite the long running time, you will never feel it if you are fully engaged and follow every part of the story presented by the large group of hard working people.

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