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Episode credited cast:
Chris Antley ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jay Hovdey ...
Himself
D. Wayne Lukas ...
Himself (archive footage)
William Nack ...
Himself - Narrator
...
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18 October 2011 (USA)  »

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Good But Not as Good As Most in the Series
24 October 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Charismatic (2011)

*** (out of 4)

ESPN documentary about the 1999 miracle that was Charismatic, a horse that really came out of nowhere to win the first two races in the Triple Crown. The film takes a look at the horse, his early flops and his eventual rise to the top. The rest of the documentary focuses on jockey Chris Antley who found himself at the top of his sport before falling off due to drug abuse. The horse and jockey seemed fit for one another but things changed during the third race of the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes and things went downhill from here. CHARISMATIC is certainly a good movie but at the same time it's several notches below other films in this terrific ESPN series. I think it goes without saying but the company has really turned out some of the greatest documentaries over the past couple years and while this one here is one of the weaker ones it's still worth watching. I think, for the most part, the story of the horse and jockey was fairly interesting but I think the filmmakers seemed a little rush. It really did seem as if the story was just flying by and that there was so much information missing or just bits and pieces of the story that were left out. If you're familiar with the story then you know that Antley ended up dying but his death had a lot of controversy around it. These controversial issues of what really happened are briefly discussed but not at any real detail to where you feel as if you know what happened. I think part of the problem is that the film didn't know if it wanted to tell the story of the horse or the jockey. I think the jockey aspect was a lot more interesting mainly because how much can you really tell about a horse? The film offers an interesting take on the subject but one wishes that it would have been more focused.


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