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The Pitch

“Ferrari” review: Michael Mann’s biopic crashes out in box office sales

The+last+edition+of+the+Mille+Miglia+occurred+in+1957+when+Ferrari+had+to+win+to+secure+the+safety+of+his+company.+The+film+focuses+on+this+last+Mille+Miglia+race+and+Enzo+Ferraris+strategy+to+win+the+race+to+make+sure+the+Ferrari+name+stands.
Courtesy jenikirbyhistory
The last edition of the Mille Miglia occurred in 1957 when Ferrari had to win to secure the safety of his company. The film focuses on this last Mille Miglia race and Enzo Ferrari’s strategy to win the race to make sure the Ferrari name stands.

With a budget of around $95 million, director Michael Mann’s biopic, “Ferrari,” has been a massive disappointment, only grossing $27 million worldwide in the first two weeks since its release.

With an excellent cast including the likes of Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz and Patrick Dempsey, Mann set audiences up with a film to be excited about. Driver put up another prominent performance, which was especially impressive since I didn’t think he was going to be able to pull off the role as Enzo Ferrari. Cruz, playing the role of Ferrari’s constantly angry wife Linda, did an excellent job as well, which added to the drama of the movie.

The film is set in 1957 and centers around Enzo Ferrari and a race he competes in, the Mille Miglia, while also following the story of his personal life. Enzo lives publicly with his legal wife Laura, the mother of his son, also named Enzo, who passed away from an illness prior to the beginning of the film, and his birth mother, Adalgisa. Meanwhile, he also maintains a secret relationship with a woman named Lina, whom he considers to be the love of his life, and has a son whom Laura doesn’t know about.

Ever since the death of their son, Laura and Enzo have had a very tense relationship but when she finds out about the affair and his secret kid, their bond really starts to fall apart. In the middle of this dilemma in Enzo’s personal life, he finds his car company, Ferrari, struggling to stay afloat. He decides to take a chance on the Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile race that showcases the world’s fastest cars, to save his company. He enters five racers into the competition who need to win first place in order to save his company; Ferrari won taking up the first four positions in the race.

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On paper, the storyline seems intriguing but the execution of the production is lacking in many aspects. Mann revolves the movie around this one race that saved Enzo’s career while intertwining a story of his personal love life. Mixing the two made the story difficult to understand and follow since they were constantly switching back and forth between the two. With the movie being a biopic of Enzo Ferrari’s life, I thought they would focus on his entire life as a whole instead of just one year of his life. I wish the movie had chosen to focus on one aspect of his life, either his business life or his personal life rather than constantly switching back and forth, but it is understandable since it is a biopic.

There is also not really any character introduction which makes it hard to follow along with the plot. I went into the movie with not much previous knowledge and the lack of context made it very confusing throughout. Trying to split focus between many different characters with confusing Italian names additionally makes for a difficult plot to follow.

Even though there were a lot of areas for improvement, it was overall not a horrible experience. The racing scenes were really well done with the intensity and sounds of the engines adding a level of excitement to the movie. Additionally, the movie takes place before “Ford v. Ferrari” so it plays perfectly as a prequel, especially since the way that Ford hears about Ferrari needing money is actually from the story presented in this movie.

All in all, I wish that the personal story didn’t move as fast leaving the focus on the cars/race behind. My expectation was that there would be a greater centering around the race itself rather than his personal life which had an effect on my impression of the movie. Its unique story was overall well executed even though it went against my expectations. However, it was overall a failure since the blending of Ferrari’s personal and business stories wasn’t done well. The film is disappointing for many car movie fans since it shows that movies like this one aren’t successful and may not continue to be produced.

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Ian Alves
Ian Alves, Staff Writer
Senior Ian Alves is excited to participate in his first year with the Pitch as a Staff Writer. In addition to writing for the pitch, Ian enjoys scuba diving and playing soccer.
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Comments (4)

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  • AnonymousFeb 3, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    My friend and I enjoyed Ferrari! Our opinion it was very well done and interesting. No problems following the story line.

    Reply
  • G

    GuidoFeb 3, 2024 at 10:29 am

    Unfortunately, despite two strong performances (Drivers and Cruz), it was a turkey.

    Reply
  • M

    MicheleJan 26, 2024 at 11:37 pm

    My husband and I enjoyed the movie!! It seems people would rather go see trash and remakes! Ferrari was well done and the actors were great!!

    Reply
    • J

      Jeffrey ScottFeb 2, 2024 at 7:25 am

      I echo your words !!!!!

      Reply