Lamborghini: The man behind the legend
- Federico Riccardo
The movie was presented in Rome last autumn and received a lot of criticism, due also to many bloopers. Presented at the latest edition of the Rome Film Fest, released in the United States at the end of 2022 and distributed on Prime Video also in Italy from mid-January, "Lamborghini - The man behind the legend" is the true (but heavily fictionalized) story of Ferruccio Lamborghini from the end of the Second World War to the crisis of the brand in the seventies. The film is inspired by the biographical book "Ferruccio Lamborghini, the official story", written by Tonino Lamborghini, Ferruccio's son. It’s unknown how this film was received by the Lamborghini family. Yet, you don't need to be close to the car brand to notice the many stereotypes and many approximations. Just as it is hard to digest the involvement of well-known actors such as Gabriel Byrne (in the role of Enzo Ferrari) and the Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, who here plays Annita, Ferruccio's second partner.
But let's get to the plot. One of the first scenes shows a now adult Ferruccio in a dressing gown playing with two model cars, a Ferrari and a Lamborghini and imagining that Enzo Ferrari and himself are respectively driving. A run-up in which Ferruccio trudges, even metaphorically, to testify to the enormous gap between the two, especially from the point of view of personality and style. Soon after we are catapulted to Cento, at the end of the Second World War. Ferruccio, after several years at the front, returns to his farmer father and brothers. Not even the time to rest before he declares his idea: to build tractors capable of making a difference. The father turns up his nose right away, but he can do nothing in the face of the creative whirlwind of his son and his impending paternity. Ferruccio enters into a partnership with his friend Matteo (a friendship that will end because of a woman, Annita) and they finally found Lamborghini Trattori. Meanwhile, the continuous desire for affirmation and cynicism, unsheathed several times to exorcise the death in childbirth of the first companion, Clelia. The movie is then so fast that it takes us to the social ascent of Ferruccio: womanizer, hard worker but above all a skilled dreamer. It is following the continuous competition with Enzo Ferrari (entirely personal competition) that Lamborghini decides to produce a car too. But not just any car: the largest car in existence. So here he is designing the Lamborghini 350 GT in just a few weeks, together with professionals such as Giampaolo Dallara, Giotto Bizzarrini and the designer Franco Scaglione. The 350 GT was previewed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1964 as a real work of art, capable of creatively innovating the market with its double circular headlights instead of the ovoid ones. As in the style of the film, in a few seconds we jump to the crisis of the seventies. Crisis that is deepened only on the surface, only mentioning the social problem of the workers, the numerous strikes and the boss seen more and more as an exploiter like many others.
Poor acting, representation of a "postcard" Italy and many, too many mistakes in plain sight. Lamborghini lovers did not appreciate this film, let alone journalists and film critics. In fact, there are plenty of mistakes: in several scenes the cars on the road don't have license plates, how is that possible?! Ferrari is presented in an embarrassing way with the inscription “Ferrari. When you want to be somebody”, a quote attributed to Frank Sinatra but in a derogatory tone. Several times the Lamborghini Miura is surprisingly placed in the left lane, therefore in the wrong direction, since the scenes are set in Italy. It is all seasoned by a representation of Italy that is not at all credible, all fake agricultural landscapes, wine and economic boom. A pity, since a character like Ferruccio Lamborghini deserved more justice.