MOSLEY: IT’S COMPLICATED raises more questions than it gives answers, but offers a fascinating insight into Max Mosley, his personality and drive.
It’s fair to say that Max Mosley was somewhat of an enigma. During his varied career, the former boss of the FIA – Formula 1’s leading governing body – was rarely out of the headlines, for both good and bad. Just two months after he passed away from cancer, Mosley is back in the limelight with the release of MOSLEY: IT’S COMPLICATED, a warts-and-all documentary about the man and his legacy.
Directed by Michael Shevloff, MOSLEY: IT’S COMPLICATED chronicles the life and times of Mosley, from his political upbringing to his career in F1 and his News of the World scandal. Shevloff’s film examines Mosley’s life, highlighting his fascinating conflicts and contradictions to explore what his legacy might be.
Those familiar with the Mosley name will know there is a lot of ground to cover here. For 40-odd years, Mosley played a significant role in motorsport, and a good chunk of the film focuses on his F1 career. The piece delves into the brutal politics behind the races, the subsequent FISA/FOCA war, and the fallout from Spygate, with some surprisingly honest statements from Mosley himself and others such as Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore.
But as the film’s title suggests, Mosley was a complex man and outside of his F1 career, his personal life was also rife with politics and scandal. It’s refreshing to see that Shevloff doesn’t whitewash over the darker elements of Mosley’s life, touching on how Hitler was present at his parents’ wedding and Mosley’s later involved in violence at his father’s fascist rallies. The documentary also focuses on his relationship with the tabloid press, particularly his battle with the News of the World, after exposing his private life and published details of a sex orgy in 2008.
There’s a lot to cram in here, and as a result, several aspects of the film feel are given short shrift, and none of the subjects get the full attention of the narrative. As such, you get the impression that the documentary is left straddling too many subjects and, at times, raises more questions than it gives answers.
There’s also an assumption that the audience is familiar with Mosley’s role in motorsport, with Shevloff offering little context or detail on FISA, FOCA or his relationship with Bernie Ecclestone, making the documentary a little hard to follow if you’re not familiar with the sport.
That said, MOSLEY: IT’S COMPLICATED does offer a fascinating insight into the man, his personality and drive. It’s an interesting film that certainly opens up the conversation about his legacy.
MOSLEY: IT’S COMPLICATED is released in UK cinemas from 9 July, with tickets available here and on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download from 19 July 2021.
Donna is the Founder and Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she works as a digital marketing specialist, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage and The Reviews Hub. Loves Formula 1, prosecco and life.