Race (Movie Review)

News4u-Entertainment Desk- It is 1936 and the world is slowly heading towards the brink of yet another global conflagration. Hitler however, is still three years away from invading Poland. But US track athlete Jesse Owens faces a different kind of hurdle apart from winning multiple track races the 1936 Berlin Olympics - that of racial prejudice.

Although the wordplay behind the title of this film is clever - the Olympics race as well as the racial discrimination Owens (James) faces in both the US and Germany - this is by and large, quite a no-nonsense movie about a legendary athlete. While scant mention is made of his life after the Olympics win, Owens is portrayed as a squeaky clean guy whose single aim in life was to win big at the Olympics. And of course, win he did. Two men are key figures in getting him to Berlin. Olympic Committee chief Avery Brundage (Irons) negotiates not only with the Olympics Committee to get the USA to participate in the Olympics despite the Nazis’ anti-Jew activities and racist ideologies, but also with Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels (Metschurat) to tone down the anti-Semitism or else the event would be boycotted by the USA. Then there’s Ohio State coach Larry Snyder (Sudeikis, in fine form) who himself missed his shot at the Olympics in the past. Snyder trains and mentors Owens but in time, the two strike up an enduring and easy friendship.

The CGI is effectively used to depict Nazi architecture (the brainchild of German architect Albert Speer, in real life) and its characteristic enormity of scale and size. You get a feeling of how dwarfed Owen feels when he is in the middle of the arena, before the race. Race has some touching moments too, like the time when German athlete Carl Luz (Kross) reaches out to help Owens at a crucial time.

And while Sudeikis and James comprise the athletics angle of the film, Irons owns the behind-the-scenes part that deals with the bureaucracy. Ultimately though, what comes clearly through is that this is a really inspirational story.Courtesy toi…

Race

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