When a film depicts a sporting event, it is usually about two individuals or groups trying to win the competition. The new film Rush from director Ron Howard takes a different tack, focusing on the rivalry between James Hunt (played by Thor himself, actor Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl- Inglorious Basterds and the upcoming movie the Fifth Estate) during the 1976 season of the Formula One Championship. Normally a tale like this can be too predictable, simply because it has already occurred in history, but yet, much as director Howard did with Apollo 13, the movie still contains intense moments coupled with the drama behind the story. For these reasons, Rush is one movie you don’t want to miss.
The story of Rush begins 6 years prior the 1976 season where James Hunt, who drove for a Formula Three (lower division) team, first met with his future rival, Niki Lauda. The two battled it out for 1st position in a race held in the city of Arce, which ended with Lauda spinning out and Hunt taking the win. Lauda is the son of a famous entrepreneur and, going against the wishes of his father, takes a bank-loan in order to join a Formula One team. Even with win after win, Hunt still ends up remaining with Formula Three, while Lauda joins BRW, the team he saved from bankruptcy.
Lauda and his partner then move to Ferrari while Hunt gets his own Formula One team, which ends up going bankrupt. Spurred on by his will to beat Lauda, he joins the McLaren team, which is short of drivers when one of them quits. As McLaren was keeping pace with Ferrari, Hunt was able to challenge Lauda in the 1976 season. There’s a bit of the races shown for a while.
I would say I was very surprised at how accurate (except with one race) the film is. Without the interference of so-called Hollywood drama, the story manages to tell its tale clearly. The highlight of the movie showcases the big incident that happened in Nurburgring, and how Lauda stubbornly goes on to race just six weeks after he experienced a near-death situation.
The cinematography of the film is worthy of an Oscar nomination. Same thing can be said about the actors, especially Bruhl, with his portrayal of the Austrian Niki Lauda is very near to the real life person. The musical score is done by legendary composer Hans Zimmer, who strikes the perfect notes in keeping with the theme of the movie.
The film is not just about the rivalry between the two drivers. As it was with Ron Howard/Peter Morgan works like Frost/Nixon, the film also touches a lot on the drama of their daily life. Without any additions to the plot, this film stay true to the history. The film isn’t just for Formula One fans, but also for anybody who is a moviegoer. There isn’t a dull moment in the movie, and even slower parts pass quickly by. Definitely one to catch.
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