This review was first published on 2 August 2019. The film is now available on DStv.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Through his bond with his owner, Denny Swift, an aspiring Formula One racecar driver, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition and understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to navigate the journey of life successfully. Denny has many loves in his life—his wife, Eve, their young daughter, Zoe, and ultimately, his true best friend, Enzo.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
I like dogs, and I like racing cars.
These are two things that bring me pure joy. I've always wanted to own a golden retriever pup, and my fascination with fast cars is a new-found passion I discovered while watching a documentary series on Formula One.
When I found out that a film combining both my favourite things would be released, I clambered for the chance to watch it. Even if it meant going out after 20:00 on a weeknight in the middle of winter. (Anyone over thirty will understand the amount of determination such a feat requires.)
I'm happy to report back that the mid-week adventure beyond my usual cycle of comfort bore the sweetest fruit. The Art of Racing in the Rain, based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein, fulfilled all my expectations.
Directed by Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn, Woman in Gold) with screenplay by Mark Bomback (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes) the film tells the most beautiful story narrated from the perspective of a goldie named Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner).
Enzo and his owner, Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia), have the most special of bonds. Denny is a race car driver who dreams of racing in F1 one day and Enzo, with his deeply philosophical insight into human life, simply wants to be by his side.
Like with any big screen adaptation the film is a condensed version of the book, but that doesn't take anything away from this very special interpretation that will have you wiping away tears of both laughter and sadness.
It's fluffy, comfortable, warm, and cosy, with the racing theme a mere background to the story about a man and his best friend. It's by no means an in-depth racing film and not a deeply complicated storyline. Instead, it's just a well-curated tale of a man and his dog, and sometimes that's all we need.
I really enjoyed the film and left the cinema feeling just a little bit lighter than before I went in, and that alone makes this film worth a trip to the cinema.