Film: Gran Turismo
Cast:Archie Madekwe,David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet, Geri Halliwell Horner and Djimon Hounsou among others
Music: Lorne Balfe and Andrew Kawczynski
Rating: 4 Stars
Director Neill Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo is a fantastic, inspirational sports drama that keeps you hooked to the screen for almost its entire duration.
The film, which is based on true events, starts off on a slow note but soon picks up pace. From the time it picks up pace, there is no looking back as the film sets your pulse racing and gets you rooting for the character of the hero.
The film is a testimony to the fact that if you are passionate enough about your goal, the universe will help you realise it.
It is also a story that sends across the message that if you are dedicated, disciplined and devoted to the duty of pursuing your goal, you can achieve what nobody else has achieved irrespective of where you are from.
The film tells the true story of Jann Mardenborough (played by Archie Madekwe), a teenage player who is exceptionally good at playing the racing video game Gran Turismo.
Mardenborough, who hails from a middle class family in the UK, has a love for cars right from the time he was four. He instantly knew he wanted to be a race car driver but does not have the means to take up the rich man’s sport.
So, he chooses the next best option which is a car racing video game called Gran Turismo. The game is an accurate reproduction of the real racing tracks and gamers get the same feeling as racing on a real race track.
Mardenborough practises with love the game for several years and at one point turns such an expert, that he is able to beat almost every other player in Europe at will.
However, Mardenborough’s parents in general and his father in particular are not impressed with him spending time on a video game. They want him to pick up something that can actually help him in the real world. Unmindful of their protests, Mardenborough continues to pursue his dream and do what his heart says.
It is at this point that Nissan, a popular car brand, chooses to prove to the world that video gamers can be as good if not better than race drivers on the race track.
To prove their point, they set up the GT Academy and send an invitation to the 20 best gamers across the globe for a race, which, if they win, could get them to represent Nissan on the race track.
Mardenborough overcomes several challenges to win the opportunity and is signed on by Nissan.
But the actual challenge begins here. Real racers scorn him and believe he does not belong on the race track and that he instead needs to be behind a video game console. How the man overcame all odds, put his life at stake to push ahead and triumphed is what Gran Turismo is all about.
Archie Madekwe does a fantastic job as the passionate racing kid Mardenborough. Bearing a strong resemblance to the real Mardenborough, Madekwe comes across more like a boy from the neighbourhood almost instantly making you take a liking to him.
David Harbour, who plays his mentor on the race track, and Orlando Bloom, who plays the marketing expert who sells the idea of bringing in gamers to take on real racers, both play their parts to perfection as well.
The film is a must watch, irrespective of whether you are a motor sport fan or not. It is, in its heart, an inspiring thriller that motivates one to go after one’s dreams without pursue one’s aim and ambition in life! The power-packed action thriller proves and proclaims that nothing is impossible when one is motivated from within to move on and make things possible!
The film premiered at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.