As an avid fan of Formula 1, nothing beats me for watching an excellent movie about it. The award-winning combination of director Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”) and writer Peter Morgan (“The Queen”) has produced yet another beast movie. This time, the famous rivalry between two legendary Formula 1 drivers back in the 70s is both captured and presented in “Rush”; a high octane, engaging and exhilarating sport autobiography. If you have not heard about that stunning season of 1976 Formula One championship, you are lucky. Because “Rush” is all that you need to know it.
Based on the true story, James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) first met when they were racing in Formula 3. Hunt is a party-popper and a playboy, but deep inside him, there is a sense of nervousness and threats before he starts a race. In contrast, Lauda is a pragmatic and analytical driver, but is also effectively cool in the inside. Both men are driven by passion which leads them to a rivalry stage at Formula 1 beginning in 1975 and culminates to an eventful 1976 season.
From the outer surface, you would have thought this is a pure Formula 1 drama but let’s be assured that it is more than that. “Rush” brings a hefty amount of actions and dramatize them into perfection. The script as offered by the great Peter Morgan is indeed terrific as it captures the essences of the 70s and it tackles some of the grave issues that haunt the sport back in the day.
Of course, on the centre stage is the main spotlight on the development and journey of rivalry-turns-friend between Hunt and Lauda. While practically it does not represent the real nature of their relationship, Peter Morgan gives entire aspects of the story including the personal struggles, the attitude and the risk-taking situations they endure, an extremely authentic feel. Not only that, it manages to deliver complexity in the relationship in a much efficient manner.
Chris Hemsworth’s performance is indeed a top class act, depicting that James Hunt character with ample of accuracy and vulnerability at the same time, a break from his meteorically moment from the hammer-wielding Thor. Daniel Bruhl, known for his amazing performances in “Inglorious Basterds” and “Goodbye, Lenin!” is even more impressive. His nomination-worthy performance nails Niki Lauda with hauntingly genuine with the accent and mannerism of the man himself.
With great acting and story, Ron Howard as an award-winning director certainly knows how to make this kind of film even more impressive. After spending most of the recent years doing the mediocre entertainment, Howard is back with a strong maneuver that makes “Rush”, one of the best sport movies of all time. And he delivers “Rush” with a well-paced, well-executed and well-directed movie that truly transcripts every aspect of Morgan’s script into a coherent story-telling machine.
The uses of plenty closed-up scenes and artistic shots of the F1 cars look impressive too. For all the waving tire canvass, raindrops on the car’s bodywork, mechanical piston motion, exquisite racing footage and horrifying accident shots; Hans Zimmer music gives them all a more immersive and deeper experience like none other.
In the end, “Rush” is a truly invigorating, most genuinely-made and engaging sport drama that captures both the rivalry and the hazardous natures of Formula 1 with stunning screenplay by Peter Morgan, amazing direction by Ron Howard and a hauntingly stunning performance by the two protagonists. Even the legendary Niki Lauda approves this movie and expressed his regret that James Hunt will not be able to experience “Rush”.
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