Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rush to the Top...

The season of 1976 was probably the most controversial and dramatic in the history of F1 racing. British driver James Hunt of Mac Laren and Austrian driver Niki Lauda of Ferrari were legendary rivals competing for championship title. Lauda, the reigning champion and the top scorer that year met with a serious accident on a wet racecourse, sustaining severe burns. On his absence, Hunt won some races reaching close to his score. Lauda, after six weeks of incomplete treatment, returned to race and defend his title with a bandaged face! The tournament ended in a nail-biting climax on a rain washed, dangerous track in Japanese circuit with the winner emerging with a single point lead.

Ron Howard made an incredible movie about the rivalry between the two giants. Titled Rush, the movie has Chris Hemsworth playing Hunt and Daniel Bruhl playing Lauda. Rush is a smart sports movie that's in equal parts a thriller and a study of two characters of extreme contrast. The lead actors convincingly portrayed the two racers. Racing scenes are top notch in quality, and expertly portray the excitement of the event.

Imagine you are shown a fine picture. Then it is zoomed out to reveal that it is just a very minute detail of a much larger picture that is made up of innumerable such details. This movie gives you such a feeling. The rivalry is what the movie is all about and you are made to invest a lot in it. But the final reveal, I feel, is that it is just a minute detail that makes up the much larger and more interesting history of Hunt, Lauda and Formula 1. That is what I loved the most about it.

I had one minor issue with the movie though. The whole movie beautifully illustrates the differences between the lead characters through their behaviors, choices and mode of working. At last a confrontation scene is included where they lists their life philosophy again, which I felt was a needless exposition.

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