In a world where perception can make the difference between success and failure, happiness or disappointment or negative vs positive thoughts, most people seem to settle for the path of least resistance and accept their fate without imagining greatness. Choosing to think in a way that is empowering should always be the choice however for whatever reason, the world is full of people who play at the level of “I can’t.” This could explain why people usually root for the underdog so that the pain of life experiences, can be alleviated, if only for a small time and the joy of possibilities from others gives a glimmer of hope for themselves. Those underdogs who have the heart and soul of a champion with a quiet yet strong belief in themselves, give hope to the world, inspire possibilities and raises the consciousness of the human spirit.
This is exactly what co-writer/director Jim Wilson and co-writer Faith Conroy did when they made the film “50 to 1.” They gave hope, inspiration and allowed others to experience the greatness of possibilities.
“50 to 1” is the ultimate underdog movie. It is one of the best feel good movies in recent times. Based on a true story about Mind That Bird, who won the 2009 Kentucky Derby, this movie takes us on a journey of passion. The passion of a group of friends who believed in looking forward no matter what the odds and knew, that the journey no matter what the result, would create experiences of joy through friendship, loyalty without judgment and empowerment in the present moment. The film gave great insights into the character of Mind That Bird as a fun loving and playful horse, who loved to escape at times form his stall.
Owner of Mind that Bird, Mark Allen played by Christian Kane, was a fun loving, loyal, and good ole’ cowboy that enjoyed life to its fullest. Despite what looked like a potentially poor investment in Mind that Bird, Allen seemed to never worry and always looked to the good side of people and situations. Jockey Calvin Borel a 3-time Kentucky Derby Winner, played himself and was magnificent in his performance. There were several hilarious scenes with Borel where a string of bad luck seemed to follow Borel around, however in the end these events lead to probably one of the best days of his life. Trainer Chip Woolley played by Skeet Ulrich, was more intense yet a loyal and good friend, that never gave in to the way of the world and always believed in Mind That Bird. This never say “Die” attitude ultimately was reflected by Mind That Bird on May 2, 2009 despite 50 to 1 odds to win, came back from dead last to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby in front of 153,563 in attendance at Churchill Downs.
A sweet movie with lots of humor, well defined characters, relatable life obstacles and a stark contrast between “outsiders” and the establishment of Churchill Downs gave this movie an emotional lift for those who at times feel like the “underdog” and want to stand in the winner’s circle, with one of the greatest comeback stories of all time.