Reviews May Contain Minor Spoilers

If you're reading a review you should expect to hear some spoilers. I try to keep them to a minimum though.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Rush

Rush (2013) is a Ron Howard film based on the lives of James Hunt and Niki Lauda

Impressions
Two formula three drivers meet and spark a rivalry that comes to a head in the 1976 Grand Prix.

Rush deals with how two men can become better through competition. The effect of James Hunt and Niki Lauda on each other is remarkable. Though most of the film focuses on the men, their significant others also have a role to play. James and Niki are treated as individuals and their struggle to deal with their love of racing and its inherent mortality rate.

Our Heroes
James Hunt is an English playboy whose passion is more for the perks than the actual racing. When he first encounters Niki, he thinks of him as just another jerk to beat on the track. However, their interactions cause him to refocus on racing and ultimately question his own reasons for being on the track.

Niki Lauda is an Austrian tactician who believes his only talent is racing. He is uncompromising about becoming the best and initially sees Hunt as just another hurdle. The role of lovable jerk is a difficult one to do right, but Niki certainly makes the cut. Many of his harder-edged moments offer a look into his desperation. He needs to be the best, and Hunt helps him find a reason.

Spousal Observers
Marlene is a socialite who chances upon Niki at a wedding. She accepts his love of of racing, but doesn't want to lose the man she loves. Marlene gives Niki something else to live for besides racing. She is everything he thought he didn't want and is part of what makes the film rise above petty rivalry.

Suzy is a fashion model who falls for the charismatic Hunt. Her effect is less about changing him and more about him failing to appreciate her. Their relationship is a dark look at the problems that the carefree Hunt has.

Racing Atmosphere
The period is reproduced in stunning detail which is expected of a big studio release. The grand prix goes all over the world, and each location is given a unique look and feeling. The crashes are vibrant, but the attention to detail is even more spectacular in the quiet moments. Most especially the scenes for Niki's honeymoon, in the rain, and at the hospital.

In the End
After a surprising (if you don't know the history) ending, Rush ends with some archival footage and a moving voiceover detailing the effect of the rivalry.

Overall
Though the film focuses the men, there are several satisfying races. The film is intensely satisfying on an emotional and adrenal level with a variety of amusing characters and heartfelt moments. I'll admit that this, much like Lincoln, is very much my type of film. If you enjoy well made docudramas, check this film out.
9/10

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