The race of Ben Affleck He was going through a very delicate moment when he decided to temporarily set aside his acting career to make his directorial debut with the remarkable ‘Goodbye, little girl, goodbye’. He would soon give us more joy with that side of him thanks to ‘The Town’ and ‘Argo’, but the disappointment caused by ‘Vivir de noche’ cast doubt on his future.
Now Affleck has returned behind the scenes with ‘Air’, the first film that Amazon has released in theaters before Prime Video since 2019. The platform’s confidence in it is absolute, although that by no means guaranteed that it would be good. Luckily, Affleck thus recovers all his talent to carry out an absolute ode to capitalism but also a very entertaining feature film in which you can see that there is someone very talented behind it.
Dodging the biggest problem he was facing
Any self-respecting basketball fan is familiar with the name of Michael Jordan, for many the best player in the history of this sport. His impact was decisive in taking the NBA to another dimension, while his statistical numbers make it clear that he was a beast on the court to anyone who didn’t have the chance to see him play. However, in the summer of 1984 he was still a very promising player but not even in his new team did they trust that he would mark a before and after in the franchise.
‘Air’ is the story of someone who did see Jordan as a generational talent and how he wanted to take advantage of it to relaunch the Nike brand, little less than a laughing stock in the world of basketball at that time. From there, it is true that anyone who does not know the genesis of the Air Jordan You can just read a wikipedia page or ask ChatGPT for a summary, but if there’s one thing that stands out about this film, it’s its ability to elevate the material it uses by using the ever-compelling story of a man facing countless obstacles to make his dream come true.
Of course, in ‘Air’ you don’t take so much from the narrative of the underdog as he did, to mention a single case, Francis Ford Coppola in ‘Tucker, a man and his dream’ as in the determination of the businessman who sees something that escapes the rest. Come on, a bit about the culture of the visionary and how that gave rise to a historic business movement. To do this, Affleck is right to trust his good friend Matt Damon to play Sonny Vaccarobecause he knows how to find the key to transmit that enthusiasm that his character shows towards Jordan and how he is willing to move mountains if necessary to make his vision come true -and he is also very well surrounded, since all the protagonists embroider their respective characters- .
Starting from that idea, the script of Alex Convery seeks to enhance the occurrence and keep the viewer at all times with a smile on their faces. That is something that Affleck reads very well so that ‘Air’ always has an agile rhythm with which to keep the viewer’s attention and without this sacrificing the ramifications of what we are being told. And it is that, although it may seem like it, ‘Air’ never wants to be a glorified commercial despite the fact that its own nature has that associated with it.
The keys of ‘Air’
There it is true that the film is about to become more than a moment in a simple ode to capitalism and the business culture that it fosters. And let’s not fool ourselves, an important part of that is in ‘Air’ because the case it tells is an example of a textbook when it comes to trying to sell us the virtues of an economic model that later has many obscure aspects that are always ignored in these cases. That leads whoever focuses on that reading to surely wonder why Affleck wants to sell us something like that, but it is that there is much to celebrate here.
On the one hand, the cast of ‘Air’ is not great only because of the names that Affleck has managed to gather, since they also all fit their characters like a glove, giving us enough space to know the motivations of all of them and making rather curious use of Jordan, who is portrayed here with almost mythological touches. I am left wondering to what extent it is something sought after or if it is simply that they may have had certain problems when using their image.
that encourages it Affleck looking for the complicity of the viewer with the protagonist to work as the main narrative engine, something that is even affected in the final moments of the footage by recovering a character who had previously appeared fleetingly. Therein lies one of its great attractions, since this is extended to the rest of the main characters, where closeness with them is sought above all to make the details of the story more attractive to the public.
To this we must add the enormous expertise that Affleck shows both to make everything flow and to print a cinematographic energy to a story that at the moment of truth drinks above all from the conversations between its characters. There are moments in which one comes to remember those talks with the protagonists in constant movement that are so good at Aaron Sorkin, but applying that model within the narrative of the assumable feat so common in titles that explore the kinder side of the American dream. And it is true that here at no time is it possible to convey how hard everything would be in the event that the protagonist’s plans failed.
All of this rounded off with highly accomplished details such as the very successful use of great musical themes of the time or the impeccable effort so that absolutely everything in the film reminds us of the time in which it happens but without falling into unnecessary underlining. All of this to shape a biopic more about the product that revolutionized everything in the basketball shoe industry than about any of its stakeholders, although it does not mean that there is no lack of that great speech in the final stretch to squeeze the epic very well through the word.
So is it worth it or not?
‘Air’ is a great movie but perhaps bet on an approach that is not to everyone’s taste. And it is also the type of feature film that not so long ago might not have won any important prize at the Oscars but it would have gotten countless nominations. Now times have changed and we have been lucky enough that such a generous investment has been made in a work of these characteristics.
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