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Billy Bob Thornton,
As youths in Azusa, Vinnie, Carter, and Rosie pull off a racing scam, substituting winners for plodders and winning big bucks on long odds. When an official uncovers the scam, they set him up for blackmail. Jump ahead twenty years, Carter and Rosie are married, successful racers in Kentucky about to sell their prize stallion, Simpatico. Vinnie is a drunk in Pomona. Vinnie decides to make a play for Rosie, lures Carter to California, steals his wallet and heads for Kentucky with the original blackmail material. Carter begs Vinnie's friend, a grocery clerk named Cecilia, to follow Vinnie and get the stuff back that he has in a box. Will she succeed? Written by
What is this 4.4 rating by 2348 users? Where did this come from? Not enough car chases?
This is a good movie, well written. One could criticize a bit a sort of awkwardness or heaviness in the technical aspect of movie making, due to a first film or an approach maybe too theatrical, but the directing is good. It plainly deserves a minimum of 6.5 for its artistic value. Maybe Matthew Warchus is more a stage director and too keen on good directing than finding a picturesque way with images to illustrate something he has already staged.
If films about horses are to be considered, "Simpatico" is much better than "Dead Heat" (rated 5.3), different from "Seabiscuit" (rated 7.3) because it does not carry hope against odds being more of a drama about betrayal, and better than the totally unrealistic "Hidalgo" (rated 6.6) who has never been in the Sahara, but it does show a chase.
Why consider it as a film about horses? Because it also is a film about a horse, magnificent as opposed to human behavior in this story, as far as the only pure character in this movie, named by its title, is the horse Simpatico, and maybe this is the side that should have been enhanced more in opposition with the corruption of all this human horse-racing scam, since human perversion finally kills him, and what's more, because he his becoming sterile.
Maybe the overall realism, that had to be detailed more in the movie than the play, brought too many necessary plot details that might have obscured the existence of the character Simpatico, although every time we see him, his beauty reminds us of his existence as metaphor, metaphor that might have been more powerful on the stage, just by being permanent but never visible.
I suggest a 6.5 as a minimum.
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