Oh sure, the beginning of the book is gripping and exciting. Enough so that you will happily plod through one or two hundred pages of circuitous drivel, working hard to get to a twist or a showdown or even just an interestingly logical explanation for the events at the beginning. But eventually, you will realize that, well, someone just gave up on this one (and you should have too).
I haven’t read many mysteries, but I came to this one expecting some amount of ‘solving’ to be called for. Instead, Mankell introduces characters at the last moment to explain the plot in full-on university lecture format, shuffle protagonists out of harm’s way, etc. Perhaps this is intended to provide a ‘common woman in the thick of things’ type of realism, but to me it felt an awful lot like lazy writing. The dialog is atrocious (I’d blame it on translation but there’s simply no explanation for the dozens and dozens of pointless non sequiturs. I’d blame it on cultural differences in conversation, but Mankell’s Chinese characters have the exact same subject matter flailings as his Swedish ones do), the plot is a big exciting neon sign falsely advertising intrigue, tied with the thinnest of sinew to a blathering political half-manifesto, wrapped in the ultimate of writing shortcuts. Run away!
For the record, characters in the Clancy novels I've read have mostly leaned a little right (at least the ones you most want to be like), and quite often rolled their eyes at those with opposing beliefs, but they did so in a realistic way. Such behavior was, in fact, part of their character, and there were good reasons for that to be the case. In Dead or Alive, the book pretty much devolves into the yelling of propaganda by the time you get to disc 2. I think I'll go back to the old stuff, and go back to the old rule. If the author doesn't even have the decency to ghost his ghost writer, s/he's probably trying to share the blame for something.
*for even more ridiculousness, see such items as "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon by Grant Blackwood as David Michaels"
Kapadia’s film speeds up as quickly as Senna’s career, plunging us into what basically becomes a very high stakes version of “The King of Kong.” We are carried adeptly on this emotional roller coaster, aided by some pretty amazing behind-the-scenes footage. Senna’s rivalry with Prost was clearly worthy of an entire documentary in itself. But, as Senna does, we move on to more challenge, more life, more investment and thus more danger.
It’s hard not to know how this film is going to end. If you don’t follow F1, and avoid reading the descriptions, you will still feel the weather changing slowly, imminently, as Senna’s career progresses. This is in no small part due to a very effective soundtrack, but I think the filmmakers also do a fine job of creating an almost savior-like figure whose fate is paired with his identity from early on.
The only thing missing from ‘Senna’ is a recognition of how Senna and Prost’s relationship apparently developed further over the later years. Some small closure is given before the end credits.
Well worth your time whether a fan of racing or not (race footage is not overdone, and is really quite thrilling where it’s used), ‘Senna’ is inspiring and challenging.
Viewer’s advisory: this documentary uses real footage to very powerful dramatic effect, including footage of several crashes. Though outright gore, for the most part, is avoided, F1 crashes are sudden, and that makes the quiet moments of fear afterwards even more shocking.
Nope. There's not that much to discover here. If you like the trailer, you'll probably like the movie. If the trailer feels like it's trying too hard... I kind of think it is.