Ferrari Review: Adam Driver Transforms in Michael Mann’s Latest Epic


Where the roar of engines and the dramatics of life’s entanglements often intertwine comes Michael Mann’s “Ferrari,” a film that takes the viewer into the heart of what it means to be driven — both on the racetrack and in the throes of passionate endeavor. With Adam Driver at the wheel as the enigmatic Enzo Ferrari, the film is a lyrical journey through the tumultuous bends of professional ambition and personal sacrifice.

“Ferrari” is set in the vibrant 1950s, focusing on a particularly challenging year for the titular character. It’s a time when the world seems hungry for the sleek, rapid beasts born from Enzo’s Modena-based empire, yet, like the very machines he creates, Enzo’s life is speeding toward a precipice of financial ruin and personal despair. This era is brought to life with a palpable sense of urgency and grandeur, as Mann navigates through the intricate lanes of Enzo’s complex world.

Adam Driver embodies Enzo with a colossal presence, mirroring the larger-than-life persona of Ferrari himself. His towering figure, draped in boxy, broad-shouldered suits, fills the frame with an imposing air, reflecting the might and gravitas of a man whose name is whispered in the same breath as the Pope. Yet, there’s an inherent contradiction in this portrayal, as Driver’s natural warmth seeps through the cracks of Enzo’s otherwise stoic exterior, revealing the human fragility beneath the legend.

The film’s color palette is a character in itself, with the iconic rosso corsa bleeding through the screen, symbolizing the passion and peril that fuel Enzo’s existence. The racing sequences are visceral and kinetic, thrusting the audience into the heart of the action. Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt’s camera dances dangerously close to the speeding cars, crafting sequences that are as breathtaking as they are bone-chilling. The races aren’t merely spectacles of speed; they’re emotional crucibles, reflecting Enzo’s inner turmoil and relentless pursuit of perfection.

Yet, “Ferrari” is not without its pit stops. The attempt to balance the high-octane world of car racing with the intricate melodrama of Enzo’s personal life leads to a somewhat uneven narrative pace. The film toggles between these two worlds — one filled with the roaring excitement of the racetrack and the other steeped in the muted, sometimes melodramatic tones of domestic strife. Penélope Cruz delivers a formidable performance as Laura, Enzo’s wife, imbuing the role with a raw, smoldering intensity. However, her character, along with Shailene Woodley’s Lina, sometimes feel like satellites in the orbit of Enzo’s larger-than-life persona, their potential not fully realized amidst the overarching narrative.

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Despite these narrative divergences, Mann’s directorial flair is unmistakable. Known for his meticulously crafted visual style and deep, thematic explorations, Mann paints a portrait of Enzo Ferrari that is as complex and contradictory as the man himself. The film is at its most compelling when it delves into the psyche of its protagonist, exploring the duality of his nature — the visionary entrepreneur against the backdrop of a man grappling with profound loss and existential dread.

“Ferrari” is a cinematic endeavor that, much like its protagonist’s cars, runs at full throttle, even when the road gets rough. The film crosses the finish line as a bold, if somewhat uneven, tribute to one of the most iconic figures in automotive history.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5.0

Ferrari is now playing in theaters.

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1 Response

  1. Adler Hall says:

    was kinda bored

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