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Go see the movie if you are not able to read the novel
Originally, it was the intention to make a film script only, but Ventoux became a novel. The novel was released before the movie, more than two years ago now. Apparently it costs that much time to realize a movie. The novel is really a big achievement of Bert Wagendorp, who basically is a (cycling) journalist. It is well written, touching, tensive and if you are raised in the same period, recognizable. Respect!
Four friends in there mid-life want to redo their climb of the Mont Ventoux 30 years later. It is a kind of a memorial climb, but it is also a way to deal with their girlfriend Laura, who disappeared after wards and suddenly returns after 30 years.
Very hard for the movie to do better and it didn't. The story is scrambled in a way that it becomes fuzzy and unclear what are causes and what are consequences. Also if and how these guys are still friends after 30 years, is unclear. And the explanation of Laura in the end is poor and does not reflect the open ending of the novel.
The filming is cool and scenes are cut-off sharp. Despite the beautiful shots of the Ventoux and its surroundings, it does not let you feel the myth of the Ventoux in general nor the specific meaning for the four friends. The acting could do better, especially the old guys. They are almost caricatures. The young guys do much better and I liked the Laura character, both young and old.
Nevertheless, go see the movie if you are not able to read the book. The way friendship, aging, love, and cycling are combined is worthwhile seeing. It is not too serious, nor too flat.
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