Ford v Ferrari is helmed by James Mangold.
“Sometimes words are not just useful,” might be one of the most significant things said about death on celluloid. And maybe it has been said in the past as well, but recently, the line was effectively uttered by Matt Damon’s Carroll Shelby towards the end of the James Mangold directorial Ford v Ferrari.
Ford v Ferrari ticks all the boxes: direction, performances and a well-written story. It is a beautifully shot and ably produced movie. However, out of all the great sequences that make up this sports drama, what connected with me the most was the concluding act. (SPOILERS AHEAD)
For those of you who have not watched the movie, it is best not to read any further. However, for those of you who have reached the finishing line, I think it would be worth your time to revisit this emotionally driven and credibly acted sequence again. Christian Bale’s Ken Miles has died in a car accident, and it has been six months. Matt Damon’s Shelby, who was a close friend of Miles, decides to pay a visit to the latter’s home. He wanted to check up on Miles’ wife and son. Damon’s character stands still, looking at Miles’ home. He sees Miles’ wife call out to their son. And it is in this moment that he is interrupted in his thoughts by Miles’ son Peter. Damon turns around and tells little Peter what his late father thought of him and then proceeds to hand him a wrench, that was once thrown by Miles at Shelby during an argument.
Sequence of note | Piku | Marriage Story | Kill Bill Vol 1 | October | Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone | Masaan | Love Actually | Taxi Driver | Tamasha | La La Land | Swades | 96: Trisha tells a story | Rang De Basanti's 'Koi Future Nai' | Inglourious Basterds' strudel scene | Delhi 6’s Dil Gira Dafatan | The eerie conversation from Get Out
The director and writer remind us through the sequence that nothing and no one can stop life. What instead we can do is remember the departed soul's good deeds and learn from them. It also shows us how useless it is to console someone after a death. Nothing you can do or say can bring that person back. Sometimes all you can do is sit and silently appreciate the life lived.