Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Movie Review: Experience the "Rush"

Words by June

The legendary rivalry between two great F1 racers is brought to the silver screen; juxtaposing handsome English playboy James Hunt and a brusque and almost eccentric Austrian Nikki Lauda in their race to claim the much coveted World Championship title. 

In terms of casting, we were pretty impressed with the selection. Chris Hemsworth proves his acting chops with a rather impeccable British accent, complete with mega-watt smile and swagger not unlike the real McCoy. On the other hand, it was remarkable to see Daniel Bruhl bring to life Lauda in his younger days, a mostly hard-headed and no-nonsense character that we love to hate and hate to love. 

The movie also deserves credits for the resemblance between the actors and the ones they incarnate. As seen below, while the real James Hunt and Chris Hemsworth catch the eye with their resemblance, Nikki Lauda and Daniel Bruhl could almost be mistaken for brothers.

Action was as fast-paced as the races they featured, as the film traces back Hunt and Lauda’s roots back to the 70's, beginning from their first explosive meeting at a Formula Three Race at the Crystal Palace circuit, to the final showdown at the ‘96 Japanese Grand Prix. 

The two cannot be more different as water and oil; Hunt the wild cannon that leaves everything up to chance that at one point left him near bankruptcy due to lack of sponsorship, had it not been for McLaren. Lauda had not had it easy as well, as he turned his back on a wealthy family empire for the track, and had to meticulously plan his break into the F1 car scene and personally plan each race. It was interesting to see parallels drawn between the Lauda and Hunt at various points in their lives, much like their fierce competition that begrudgingly lead to a mutual respect towards each other. 

F1 aficiandos would be delighted to spot some legendary rides such as the blue 6 wheeled Tyrrell P34 driven by Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler, the McLaren M23s, and Ferrari 312T2s, and have a sight at how the pits were run back when F1 was still in its grassroots days.

Director Ron Howard worked his magic, seamlessly fusing shots of technical aspects of the cars in motion with refreshing new camera angles, which not only contributed to the story in an artistic way, but were also greatly enjoyable sights for us motorheads. 

If you have watched the biographic documentary of Senna like we have, you might feel that this film was a little romanticized. But then again, this is Hollywood. Although half of the air-time was emotive, the other half that was autobiographical was done justice such as paying homage to Lauda’s technical ingenuity, and Hunt's love for party and women.

While the most hardcore of us will still prefer a fact-based gathering of historical media movie like Senna, Rush is a beautiful interpretation of what F1 used to be, and of the life, rivalry and friendship of the two legendary drivers. Rush is, in our opinion, a must see for all gearheads.



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