ABC Film Challenge – Sports – R – The Racer (2020) Movie Review

Director: Kieron J Walsh

Writer: Ciaran Cassidy, Kieron J Walsh, Sean Cook (Screenplay)

Starring: Louis Talpe, Matteo Simoni, Tara Lee, Iain Glen, Karel Roden, Timo Wagner, Sarah Carroll

Plot: It follows a rider who, after being dropped from the team, is reinstated following a doping error.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Racer starts as experienced rider Dominique Chabol (Taipe) is preparing for the latest Tour de France starting in Ireland, he is getting through the final preparation in the team with the lead rider Lupo ‘Tartare’ Marino (Simoni) needing him to keep him calm, but the day before the race the team owner Viking (Roden) drops him from the formation.

With Dom facing the reality of his career in the sport being over, he finds himself getting redemption after a member of the team gets ill and Dom gets reinstated, only of the team to need to deal with a bigger problem, an investigation into what is giving them an advantage.

Thoughts on The Racer

Characters & Performances – Dominique Chabol is the veteran member of the team, he has been competing for 25-years, he is the anchor of the team, keeping the other riders grounded, prepared for what is next, only to find himself getting axed from the team last minute, starting to question what to do next. He has never held the Yellow Jersey, the one dream he never achieved and after getting one more chance on the team, he starts to show he desire to achieve more, while staying the team player. Louis Talpe is great in this role, showing us the pure emotion of someone who wanted more from his career, while also being proud of what he has achieved so far. Lupe ‘Tartare’ Marino is the leader rider, the guy who is meant to win the yellow jersey, he is a cocky arrogant hot head that needs Dom to help keep him calm before the races, he celebrates big when they win and rages when they don’t. Matteo Simoni shows us how you would expect more athletes to act when they don’t succeed. Dr Lynn Brennan is the local work placement doctor working with the tour, she helps Dom with his own problems, offering him more of a friendship that he was expecting, helping him put his own vision of life in perspective. Tara Lee is great in her role, being the stronger figure in a world where Dom has let people use him for years. Sonny is the oldest friend Dom has in this world, the masseur who also helps the riders with other ideas to stay up to the standard within the team. Iain Glen brings most of the comedy to this role, with his lard back motivation to everything going on.

StoryThe story here follows a veteran cyclist who has spent his career as part of a team but never been the lead rider within it, that starts to question his own future when the owner drops him, only to bring him back after an illness within the team. This will show us how veteran sports stars can be treated by teams after years of time given, how they can become the leader of the team, without needing to be the most important member to the spectators and how a career will leave someone always wanting more. This does show us just how the tour de France was filled with people that were trying to bend the rules to their own advantage in the late 90s, in a way that was both dangerous to the athlete and the reputation of the team. This is told in a way that shows us how the veteran can start to see the bigger picture to everything going on and will offer help to the team when they need it. It might well give us all of the drama behind the scenes, but for a film about cycling, we don’t get too much of the actual racing, which could have been played for a more intense finish.

ThemesThe Racer is a sports drama showing us the extreme measures riders would go to be the best in the Tour de France, while showing us snippets of the early stages within the stages, most of the cycling is only the final stretch, which is meant to be the most interesting part of the stage.

 

The Racer is a life defining moment for a veteran sports star in his final years to shine, that is performed excellently throughout.

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