Well this film took me three tries before I actually finished it without dozing off. The pace of the film just didn’t keep me interested long enough before I would start to get bored. Not that it was a bad film, just not what I am used to watching. I have found a love for running myself, so you would think it would keep my interest. I know this film is based on a true story and did enjoy watching the characters struggle with their beliefs and what they loved to do, RUN.
You have to remember the time period this is based on also, otherwise you look at the clothing, atmosphere, speech and way of life and laugh. Watching Harold Abrahams run and go after everything in life with his cocky attitude expecting to get everything he ever goes after was like being back in high school and seeing all of the athletes get their special treatment. I really enjoyed when Eric beat him and he finally had to deal with losing. I think it helped his character develop some sympathy from us as the audience. He didn’t always get everything he wanted now and it made him seem more real and human. He was so upset and Cybill had to help him realize that he shouldn’t wallow in self pity, but should pick himself up and try again. He wants so badly to beat Eric in the Olympics, not knowing that he would not get the chance due to Eric’s beliefs. He has to prove himself to the world, but more importantly to himself that he can run and win.
Watching Eric trying to balance his love of God and running was very interesting. He had the approach of knowing God wanted him to be a missionary and preach his word. He also knew that God had given him a talent of being fast. He wanted so badly to try for the Olympics and prove this before he went back to being a missionary. Seeing him struggle with knowing that the qualifying heat for his race was to be held on Sunday and that this was the day God wanted him to set aside for him was interesting. I was glad he held true to his beliefs and wouldn’t even let the Prince of Wales, or the rest of the committee to sway him away from his values. When Lord Lyndsey lets him take his place in the upcoming 400m race it made his character connect with the audience better as well. I enjoyed watching him run the race in the Olympics and seeing him smile knowing he hasn’t let himself or God down by his decision.
All in all the pacing of this film was too slow for me. The time passing between races and training was sometimes boring. I know that there needed to be background stories presented to make the whole film flow, but I think it could have been done a little quicker. I sometimes think that when films are based off true stories then they can drag on because they are trying to be accurate in the account.