Michael Mann's 'Ferrari': Death is always nearby

The film is not a biography dealing with the entire life of Enzo Ferrari - the plot is focused on the events during 1957 when Enzo Ferrari is someone in the automobile industry, but it is increasingly difficult to cope with the competition

by Sededin Dedovic
Michael Mann's 'Ferrari': Death is always nearby
© IGN / Youtube channel

The film "Ferrari" comes from the renowned director Michael Mann, starring Penélope Cruz, Adam Driver, and Shailene Woodley. It focuses on Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Ferrari automotive empire, and follows his personal life and business troubles during the year 1957.

At first glance, the film has all the makings of a hit: a well-known director, a great cast, and an intriguing story about a legend of the automotive industry. Unfortunately, the final result is disappointing. One of the biggest problems with the film "Ferrari" is the lack of a coherent story.

Instead of focusing on a key part of Ferrari's life, the film jumps from topic to topic, leaving the audience confused and unsure of what is actually happening. The film begins with Enzo Ferrari in crisis. His automotive empire is struggling, and his personal life is in turmoil.

Hoping to save the company, Ferrari decides to compete in the Mille Miglia race, a dangerous thousand-mile race through Italy. However, the film never truly manages to focus on this story. Instead, viewers are bombarded with a series of seemingly unrelated scenes.

We learn about Ferrari's childhood, his relationship with his son, his mistresses, and his business rivals. But all of these scenes are only superficially explored and do not contribute to the overall story.

Michael Manns Ferrari© IGN / Youtube channel

Set in 1957, Ferrari depicts several months in the life of the car manufacturer.

His company is on the verge of bankruptcy after a series of bad financial moves. His only child with his wife Laura (Penelope Cruz) died the previous year, further straining his marriage. He has a mistress, Lina (Shailene Woodley), with whom he has a son that Laura doesn't know about.

His only hope is to invest everything into his racing team for the Mille Miglia, the famous endurance race on open roads to boost profits.

Michael Manns Ferrari© IGN / Youtube channel

Another major problem with the film is the poorly acted scenes.

The arguments between Enzo and his wife Laura are unconvincing and forced, and the dialogue sounds unnatural. It seems like the actors are just reciting lines rather than actually feeling the emotions they are expressing. As for Adam Driver, he simply doesn't deliver as Enzo Ferrari.

His performance is monotonous and lacks depth. Driver fails to capture Ferrari's charisma, intelligence, or uncompromising nature. As a result, it's hard for the audience to care about his character or empathize with him. His eyes are mostly hidden behind a pair of sunglasses, which seems like a deliberate decision by Mann's side that perhaps we will never penetrate to the core of this man.

The technical side of the film "Ferrari" is also lacking. CGI effects are outdated and unconvincing, especially in the car crash scenes. They seem straight out of the 1990s. Despite its numerous problems, "Ferrari" does have some positive aspects.

The set design is beautiful and authentic, and the music is well composed and contributes to the film's atmosphere. Despite what people might expect from the name, Ferrari primarily focuses on family drama rather than racing.

Michael Manns Ferrari© IGN / Youtube channel

Comparison with other films

The film "Ferrari" can be compared to other biographical films about famous individuals, such as "Citizen Kane" or "The Social Network." All of these films attempt to explore the lives of complex and controversial personalities, but they do so in different ways.

"Citizen Kane" is an epic tale of a wealthy newspaper tycoon whose life is full of secrets and contradictions. The film uses a range of narrative techniques, including flashbacks and multiple perspectives, to portray the complexity of Kane's character.

"The Social Network" is a more modern film that deals with the founding of Facebook and portrays Mark Zuckerberg, a young programmer who becomes a billionaire. The film uses a fast pace and dynamic editing to portray Zuckerberg's ambition and uncompromising nature.

Unlike these two films, "Ferrari" fails to capture the depth of its protagonist. The film shows us Enzo Ferrari as a dark and troubled man, but it never gives us a real insight into his motivations or emotions. Overall, "Ferrari" is a disappointing film that fails to live up to its potential.

Poor storytelling, unconvincing performances, and weak technical execution make it a film that cannot be recommended. If you are a big fan of racing or fascinated by Ferrari cars, you might still find something to enjoy in this film.

Also, those who are already familiar with Enzo Ferrari may be able to fill in the gaps in the story with their prior knowledge. If you're looking for a biographical film that provides a deep exploration of its character, "Ferrari" is likely to disappoint you. Also, if you were expecting an exciting racing film, you might be frustrated by the slow pace and lack of action.