The Long Run (written by Johann Potgieter) is a movie that I wanted to like, for multiple reasons. It features lovely South African scenery and fine music, engaging actors and thoughtful social commentary. The story centers on an ultramarathon, the famous 89 km Comrades race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

But alas, the movie falls apart in both characterization and content. Protagonists argue and fight for no reason other than to provide artificial plot twists. Curmudgeonly behavior escalates into irrational obstructionism. Focus ramps up too quickly into obsession. And as for the running: besides carrying far too much fat on their bodies, the athletes scarcely sweat and rarely look even semi-exhausted during training. The portrayal of ultra-distance agony seems to center on falling down with feigned leg cramps and making facial expressions that suggest severe indigestion.

Please! Couldn't we at least have some chafing and a few blisters?

(cf. TwoTowers (29 Dec 2002), AndThenTheVultureEatsYou (9 Dec 2004), EndlessStairmaster (22 Jan 2005), RunningThroughTheWall (23 Jan 2005), WithoutLimits (12 Feb 2005), UltramarathonMan (14 Apr 2005),...)

TopicArt - TopicRunning - 2005-09-10

(correlates: Mystery Men, CenturyHence, SmallNumberIllusions, ...)