‘Framing John DeLorean’ Summary & Review – The Curious Case of John Zachary Delorean


John Zachary Delorean was not your average run-of-the-mill American engineer. He was one of the rockstars of the automobile industry who has lived a life that has everything, success, fame, controversy, and even a nonchalant jostle with drugs. He was the founder of the infamous Delorean Motors. The documentary film Framing John DeLorean traces the ever so exciting and intriguing life of mister John Delorean. It allows the audience to have slight glimpses of his fascinating life.

Directed by Sheena Joyce and Don Argott, the film includes Alec Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, and Dean Winters. Joyce has co-written the story, Tami Ardon and Argott, while Dan Greeney and Alexandra Orton provide the screenplay. They have done a commendable job with what resources are at their disposal.

Who was John Zachary Delorean?

Baldwin says, “Every day I think about who he is and I have a different answer.” The word framing has been subtly used to have a double impact by insinuating that Delorean was framed by the authorities as well as the process of projecting his life on a screen. The creators have induced a sense of interrogation about who John Delorean was actually like?

Delorean’s enthusiasm for a project inculcating his personal life was so profound that Baldwin, who plays John in the reenactments of his life, was asked about such a reenactment by DeLorean himself. The film opens up with this notion where no one in the industry can showcase Delorean’s surrealistic life. The problem with this was the fickleness in the people’s minds about what is perceived to be “working” or not. In the case of Delorean, people tend to sway away from him like the dark clouds approach chickens to come home to roost. On the other hand, the film industry believed that the life he lived was too hard to be put into a fictional character.

The archival timeline is quite accurate. If we look at it closely, the film has various segments that segregate the emotional inclination of the viewers. You either love him or hate him by the time the intermission rolls out.

John DeLorean never sold the infamous “American Dream” to the masses. He instead instilled the idea of innovating things as per his requirements, and that’s similar to the approach of this film. The film calls itself a documentary but is it? Is any documentary real if you look closely? Isn’t it self-evident that people tend to shroud their Darkside with a more beautiful demeanor?

The curious case of ‘Framing Delorean’

To be extremely precise, the film recreates the infamous FBI sting operation that charged Delorean with cocaine trafficking. This was allegedly done to save the automobile venture, but James Hoffman, an informant, disclosed the 25kg cocaine deal involving John Delorean. One thing led to another, and before anyone could fathom what was happening, a cascading effect demolished the house of cards that Delorean had built.

People who banked on the downfall gained a lot, and the so-called friends of John were vanishing quite swiftly. The delays at the DMC were now getting out of hand as the influx of capital was present, but the customer satisfaction achieved by DMC was abhorrent. It’s quite a steep slope from down there as the film aptly traces the emotions driving the situations. The background score could have been more robust with a more enchanting 70s and 80s music. At the same time, the editorial prerogatives were quite just and swift.

Framing John DeLorean is a 2019 Documentary Drama Film directed by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce.

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Shreshtha Shukla
Shreshtha Shukla
"Thou art the suffering from which unwarranted melancholia emerges" Shreshtha Shukla is a writer, teacher, and a film enthusiast.

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