When he is only ten years old, Enzo Ferrari runs to the next village only to watch a car race. Now the direction for his life is set. He starts immediately working on vehicles and as soon ...
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When he is only ten years old, Enzo Ferrari runs to the next village only to watch a car race. Now the direction for his life is set. He starts immediately working on vehicles and as soon as he is old enough to drive a real car, he becomes a race car driver. Soon the young man shows ambitions in finding a racing team. He offers his services to Fiat but the team managers turn him down. Yet Alfa Romeo hires Ferrari and promotes him to team manager. With gusto Ferrari takes his family to the races. His wife objects to the noise and considers this environment inappropriate for little Dino, but Enzo's enthusiasm knows no restraint. He is determined to raise him as his successor. Ferrari's reputation grows and enables him to create his own company, Scuderia Ferrari. When he presents his employees (including Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari) to the press, he explains that enthusiasm can be contagious. But when German troops come to Italy, Ferrari is accused of building weapons for the ...
I should preface this review by stating that I'm a Ferrari aficionado and own a 1986 Ferrari 328. So I bought this for the same reason I own lots of other Ferrari memorabilia and such - I'm a big fan of all things Ferrari.
I really wanted to love this movie. But on balance, I felt it just falls short of what it could have been. The life of racing icon Enzo Ferrari is told through flashbacks, with an enigmatic journalist being the vehicle to pull the story from Ferrari's past. Visually the movie is quite stunning - cinematography you'd expect from a Spielberg or Cameron film, with many sweeping panoramas and unique camera angles.
But several serious flaws in the end waste much of the beauty of the movie. First is the dramatic soundtrack; it runs almost CONTINUOUSLY. Heavy dramatic violin passages should be reserved for those critical moments of high drama. But instead the strings sigh and cry and emote to such excess that when you finally get to a scene where such drama is warranted, it just sounds like the rest of the film. There are a few moments where the soundtrack ceases, and they actually caught my attention due to the LACK of music for a change.
Secondly is the acting. It's just simply sub-par. Some of the characters (young Dino for example) just make me cringe in embarrassment for the poor acting job. It's almost as if it was considered more important to have actors that LOOKED the part, rather than actors that might be off in historical-visual sense, but had greater skill.
Thirdly, it's just too bloody long! At 215 minutes, it feels more like double that. Many scenes are very slow and many could have simply been left on the cutting room floor to no detriment. (And just as a footnote, the DVD has a very odd menu structure - you will see the credits roll after chapter 12, and most likely do what I did and hit 'stop' and go looking for 'part 2'. Turns out it's just some sort of intermission where it LOOKS like the movie ends. Very strange and annoying - simply bump the chapter button and the movie continues at chapter 13, but none of this is explained - you just get a message saying 'end of Part One' with no explanation of where Part 2 might reside!).
Lastly, if you are wanting to see Ferrari the car, instead of Ferrari the man, this is NOT the movie for you. In the entire film there is probably less than a half hour of footage involving cars! This is very much a biopic trying to explain the inner feelings and turmoils of a famous man; it does not concern itself much with the cars that bear his name. There is still plenty of glimpses (1930s Alfas, Ferrari 125, and a few others - including a 400i and 3x8 near the end of the movie) to satisfy us car guys.
Summary: Beautiful cinematography marred by poor acting and 40 minutes of unneeded plodding story line, Enzo Ferrari is still worth the view if you are a fan of the marque. 3 Stars
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