The big problem that plagues The Secretariat (based on the Novel "Secretariat: The Making of a Champion" by William Nack) is that sometimes true life incidents can make for very boring films. Directed by Randall Wallace, Secretariat is based on the story of a horse that no one gave a chance going on to winning the three important races in the United States might be the stuff that dreams are made of but it's just not exciting enough for a film.
The Secretariat Story
It's the early 1970's and Penny Tweedy (Diane Lane) is a happily married housewife with four children, a husband and a beautiful house but her life changes gears when she gets to know about her mother's death. Looking at her father who seems like half the man after the death of his wife, Penny decides to stay back on the stud farm to set things right. Her father's daughter, Penny fires the farm's trainer for underhand dealings and hires Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich) to train her prized possession, The Secretariat. Against the better judgment of everyone Penny, Lucien and Miss Ham, her father's trusted secretary, come together to foster a horse that goes on to win the first Triple crown in years.
Barring the excellent detailing to the period, The Secretariat is nothing more than a fable told narrated like a bedtime story. The commitment to authenticity overrides the narrative and the entire film is predictable to death. Diane Lane slips into the mother of four Penny Chenary Tweedy with such ease and grace that it's a treat to watch her. After a while you start wondering if this was the same actor who was seduced by Olivier Martinez in The Unfaithful. Malkovich, on the other hand, makes some scenes come alive but this is such a let down of a role for one of the greatest actors of all times that even he doesn't look interested.
Final Words on The Secretariat
Close on the heels of Seabiscuit, there is hardly any chance of The Secretariat to make an impact. Though not completely but Secretariat impresses the audience at few points. The truth about fiction is that no matter how exciting the facts it sadly, needs a certain kind of drama to make it even better than the real thing.
The Secretariat Cast: Diane Lane, John Malkovich
The Secretariat Written by: Mike Rich
The Secretariat Directed by: Randall Wallace
The Secretariat BUZZ RATING: 2 / 5
The Secretariat Genre: Drama
The Secretariat Certification: U