‘Ford v Ferrari’ (2019): A Cinema of Classic Cars, Racing Narratives, and Endearing Friendship

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' is a high octane spectacle which revs up a historical rivalry between automotive giants while exploring themes of friendship, innovation and passion. Director and writer duo Jez and craft a tale that is as much a love letter to fast cars and the motor racing world as it is a testament to personal ambition and perseverance.

The film revolves around the intense rivalry between Ford and Ferrari at the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966. The story focuses on American automotive designer and engineer Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon) and British race driver Ken Miles (portrayed by ) who are drafted in by the Ford Motor Company to build a race car capable of defeating the dominant Ferrari.

From the word go, ‘Ford v Ferrari' indulges viewers in the world of car racing with meticulously detailed and intense race sequences. The soundscape alone is an enthralling experience, creating a visceral sense of what it's like to be behind the wheel of these high-speed machines. Cinematographer excels in capturing the speed, danger and exhilaration of the racing sequences, creating edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-fueled moments. The Le Mans race sequence is particularly pulse-pounding, placing the viewer right in the middle of the action with some outstanding camera work.

In the midst of the racing thrills, the film delves into the intricacies of car design and the corporate politics that come with it. The struggle to balance the art of car design with the commercial interests of a major corporation adds dramatic tension and stakes to the story.

But at its core, ‘Ford v Ferrari' is a story about friendship, as it delves into the enduring bond between Shelby and Miles. Damon and Bale exhibit strong chemistry as they portray the two men's professional partnership and personal connection. Their shared love of racing and mutual respect forms the emotional backbone of the film. Christian Bale particularly shines in his portrayal of the eccentric, passionate and uncompromising Miles.

The film's supporting cast, which includes as the imposing Henry Ford II and a slimy corporate villain played by , add depth and layers to the narrative. Letts, in particular, delivers a nuanced performance, depicting Ford as both a shrewd businessman and a man grappling with the pressure of his family legacy.

The production design, art direction, and costume design are all awarded careful attention, effortlessly recreating the mid- era, and the world of flashy cars and charismatic drivers within it. The film's technical aspects deserve high praise, particularly the editing by Michael McCusker and the heart-pounding original score by and .

‘Ford v Ferrari' runs at a lengthy 152-minute runtime, but thanks to the expert pacing, believable character arcs and the aforementioned thrill of the racing sequences, it never drags. Its commitment to depicting the minutiae of car design and racing strategy, along with the rich character development, ensures that it is not just engrossing for motor racing fans, but also a mainstream audience.

The movie ultimately portrays the exhilarating power of innovation, the relentless spirit of competition and the heartache of loss in a narrative that is engaging, moving, and exciting. The balance of spectacle and substance, without undermining the emotional core of the film, makes ‘Ford v Ferrari' a triumphant piece of cinema.

‘Ford v Ferrari' is an engrossing sports drama that transcends the genre, and a technical triumph that manages to craft intense racing sequences while maintaining a keen insight into its central characters' lives. A love letter to classic cars and an homage to the real-life figures behind the scenes, this film is a must-watch for fans of fast cars, riveting storytelling, and well-drawn characters. It excites, enraptures, and ultimately, endears itself to viewers, creating a cinematic experience as thrilling in the straightaways as it is poignant in the pit stops.

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