Ford V Ferrari is a film that comes by once in a blue moon.
It’s not a racing film as it advertised. Rather, it’s a battle of creative differences between car executives. To put it this way, it’s art vs business. Starring Matt Damon as Caroll Shelby and Christian Bale a Ken Miles, a professional race car driver who is recruited by Caroll Shelby to defeat Ferrari in Le Man’s 66.
Having watched the film, here are the 5 things that I’ve learned about the Ford V Ferrari.
1. A Battle Between Executives And Creators
The film details how Ken Miles and Caroll Shelby battle executive interference to build a vehicle that would defeat Ferrari at Le Man’s 66 in France. Ford executives are worried that Ken Mile’s racing, and suggestions for car improvements They fear that Miles and Shelby would damage Ford and bring their stocks down. The executives try numerous ways to meddle their efforts.
The story is somewhat a metaphor on modern Hollywood, where studio executives meddle with the writers, producers and directors to their liking – sometimes with disastrous consequences. The main message of the film is a battle of creativity and vision. It’s business vs engineers.
2. Never Judge A Book By Its Cover
Ken Miles is portrayed as an eccentric, abrasive and temperamental (which he is) But behind that he is a loving and caring husband and father to his son. He is loving and caring him unconditionally, as well as to his wife. His personality in the film may fall under the trope of “disappeared dad”, which is averted.
3. Christian Bale Changes His Body (Again)
Christian Bale is no stranger to radically changing his body for roles. Having gained and lost weight for roles such as in The Machinist (losing 60 pounds/27 KG) to the point of looking emaciated, and then bulking up for Batman, gaining 100 pounds (45 KG) within six months.
For Ford V Ferrari, he lost 70 pounds (30 KG) to make himself look like Ken Miles’ physique. This was done filming Vice, where he portrayed Dick Cheney and no surprise, he gained weight 40 pounds to look like him.
One of the main reasons why he does drastic body changes is that he could get into character better.
4. Based On A True Story
The story centers on the race of Le Mans In June 1966. In this race, racers will have to race for 24 hours. It has been held annually since 1923 and attracts large crowds. The race is not who will finish first place after a series of laps, rather how many laps can you finish within 24 hours.
5. Corporate Greed Drives The RACE
In 1963, Ford wanted to merge with Ferrari. This is because Ford was facing declining sales against General Motors and wants to top the American car market. There is a good reason why Ford wanted a merge: Ferrari dominated the racing competition and spread Ford’s influence worldwide. However, the deal fell through and Enzo Ferrari called Henry Ford II “fat”.
This sparked a hue rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, with Ford upping trying to up their game. Ford kept pushing for Miles and Shelby to improve their cars, sometimes to the point of danger, with the ultimate showdown in Le Mans.