December 13, 2017

Mo Farah: No Easy Mile – Film Review

Mo Farah is one of Britain’s greatest sportsmen of all time. He has a story quite unlike any other, a story of success from a young immigrant from Somalia to a four time Olympic champion.

Given this success it was inevitable that a film should be made to document his journey from messing around as a young schoolboy to living with the Kenyans and finally understanding what it really takes to be a champion.

Directed by Joe Pearlman – this film is far from a dramatisation of Mo Farah’s, it is the real thing, a documentary. It offers a full display of the personal background of Mo Farah giving a very intimate feel, with in-depth interviews with Farah and his wife Tania on the struggles which they have to face. This is added to by the likes of Lord Sebastian Coe, Usain Bolt and even Thierry Henry, who shared their thoughts and opinions of what has made Mo Farah the great, humble champion that he has become.

Starting in his early days as just a natural runner of pure talent and no training, the documentary shows Mo to place 9th in his first English School Cross Country at the age of 13. From here it follows the ambitious Mo Farah through his early failures at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 to joining the Nike Oregon Project in 2011, where it all changed.

Farah claims losing to Jeilan in 2011 was the most important lesson he ever learnt
Farah claims losing to Jeilan in 2011 was the most important lesson he ever learnt

For me, this insight into how Farah’s mentality and approach changed to help him become the best was very interesting. Farah’s training has been under the watchful eye of Barry Fudge and Alberto Salazar for over 5 years now and a few key things had to change to help give him the extra 1-2, which, as described by Salazar in one of the interviews:

Mo had no power, and I said: that’s your problem.

This identification of his weakness which had hindered him over the last lap in the 2008 Olympics was now a main focus of improvement. Along with this physical conditioning and mental conditioning gained from his 10,000m loss in Daegu 2011, Mo has never looked back.

The documentary shares more shots than ever seen before of Mo training and building up towards races. How he tracks his workouts for comparison and leave for altitude camps for months on end.

Mo continues to go away months on end to altitude training camps
Mo continues to go away months on end to altitude training camps

However, sadly the documentary does fall into a slight narrative towards the end, displaying his World Championship and Olympic successes in a similar way to which we have all seen before. But this doesn’t take anything away from the film. It is expertly shot and sequenced with a good balance of insight from those interviewed and Mo himself describing the pain he has to go through day in day out to stay on top of the world.

Overall, this is really interesting and inspiring film. It follows the great story of how Mo Farah has never had one easy mile in becoming 4 time Olympic and 5 time World Champion, giving to a look into what it really takes from those who have supported and helped him along the way.

Although we all know the story of Mo Farah, not all know what he has had to put in, so I would fully recommend this to all. Whether you are a keen runner or just someone looking for some inspiration to work hard, this is a brilliant feel good film of a great success story.

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