Heroic Legacy to Notorious Cheat, The Program tells the story of Lance Armstrong and his journey into the tainted books of sporting history.
The most recent biopic from Stephen Frears tells the disgraced story of Lance Armstrong, once a role model and household name, he eventually descended into being the sports most publicised cheat. It goes without saying, we all have heard the name 'Lance Armstrong'.
We were all once blinded by his inspiration and eventually left betrayed of hope in a world with one less hero. The Program tells a sort of chronological story of the athlete's journey, taking us through his cycling career all while an investigative reporter tries to collect evidence to expose the scandal.
Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong gave an absolutely chilling performance as he expressed the character's near sociopathic tendencies through his reckless desire to win at all costs.
All while perfectly hammering home the ego and narcissism associated with the drug kingpin of cycling. This is the strength of the film as it delivers a view into the corruption of sport and the culture of performance enhancing drugs. It almost seems that the science that goes behind the scenes to stay undetected is even more exhausting then the cycling itself. The Program also displays the naivety of the world, that we were fooled and drawn into the charisma and heroics of a glory craving athlete, while making him untouchable through his charity.
The film however seemed to lack a narrative. The focus was on the cheating scandal and not the man. Armstrong met and married his wife in 30 seconds, his kids were barely mentioned all while casually name dropping a few celebrities. The film was so distracted with telling the world how we should hate the cheat that he was, that they did not address him as a 'big' celebrity or even acknowledge all the good he accomplished - such as creating the first unified global cancer movement in history. The Program definitely leaves you with the right perception but you can't help but think it leaves Armstrong slightly misunderstood.
The Program in cinemas now.