Comments Off on Ferrari

Michael Mann has found his double in Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver). Ferrari (2023) is a portrait of a man driven to achieve perfection at the cost of relationships, humanity, and compassion. Technique and technological advancement drive Ferrari both in front of and behind the camera. The engineer’s mind of the titular Ferrari mirrors Mann’s own very deliberate style; a union of methodical methodologies.

Ferrari is a biopic that is focused on one very specific moment in the life of Enzo Ferrari. It’s a turning point where the middle aged former racer is torn between familial duties and ensuring the future of his brand. Mann himself, middle aged, relates to his subject’s quandary and his film subsequently invites the viewer into the most intimate spaces of that subject’s life. Career obsessions compete with romantic and sexual obsessions; each linked to one another by one man’s search for a perfection that can never actually exist.

Mann’s cinematographic gestures in Ferrari are measured, calculated, and designed to reflect the precision and forethought of a racer taking a curve. Scenes are no longer nor shorter than what is essential and every shot is chosen for inclusion to create a careful rhythm that mirrors those laps around a track. Mann’s style seems subdued on the surface, but a closer look reveals a stylistic at his most ferociously obsessive and controlled.

In Ferrari the hard and brutal mechanism of the race car is juxtaposed with the fragile and abstract delicacy that is human emotions. Enzo Ferrari and Michael Mann must orchestrate the kinetic and deadly ballet of the race while simultaneously navigating a delicate melodrama. This fusion of aesthetic sensibilities mandates a restraint and measured approach on Mann’s part and he delivers beautifully.

Ferrari, the resulting film, is an intense portrait of a man whose complex life, public and private, has been condensed to its essentials. But what is essential is as contradictory as it is explosive. Ferrari is a haunting portrait of a life defined by death and given shape by mortal danger. The elliptical racetrack, the central metaphor of Ferrari, is the cinema in all its emotive majesty and potential for destruction.