by S. Yates-McCabe
‘The excitement created from this is exactly the feeling you would expect from the climax of a motorsport championship as large as F1 and would most likely get the blood pumping of any hooked viewer motorsport fan or not.’
Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl & Olivia Wilde
Synopsis: From the lowly competition of Formula 3 to the bright lights and equally mind-boggling speeds at the pinnacle of all motorsport competition: Formula 1, Rush tells the story of the fierce competition between Britain’s James Hunt and Austria’s Niki Lauda as they battle for the title of F1 world champion in what would be one of the greatest feuds in not just F1, but motorsport history. However, their near fatal battles didn’t always end after the chequer flag…
Review: The F1 scene of the 70’s was fuelled by a few things: determination, courage, women and alcohol to name a few, however, the most vital part of all of this was Winning. Both Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt) and Daniel Brühl (Niki Lauda) illustrate these factors perfectly with their representation of each character respectively: Hemsworth’s James Hunt comes across as a talented young driver whose path to success is disrupted and plagued by his playboy antics and narcissistic personality whereas Brül’s Niki Lauda comes across as an unhindered, arrogant and focussed underdog whose sole purpose is to win. Both of these incredibly accurate interpretations result in a full and rich atmosphere from start to end.
However, this film is not just one big full-throttle biopic with no relatable moments. Ron Howard’s use of perspective (switching from the view of the drivers and their families and teams to the beady eyes of the media and public) really gives an in-depth view into the emotional struggles of the two competitors as they battle the pressures of society and expectations of their teams to really tell a more relatable story that provokes some quite strong emotions from the viewer.
A portion of the movie that really provoked some tears from me was the depiction of Niki Lauda’s infamous near fatal crash where he experienced temperatures of over 3000 Degrees Celsius leaving him permanently scarred from head to toe. When depicting his challenging recovery and brutal treatments (such as getting soot pumped out of his scorched and bruised lungs), the movie takes the viewer on an emotional rollercoaster showing in immense detail the emotional torture his wife and family were forced to endure during those horrendous weeks. However, just when the movie felt like it was collapsing due to the string of macabre scenes, it takes a fairly inspirational turn as it shows Lauda overcoming huge emotional and physical barriers to return to the F1 grid merely weeks after his spine-chilling accident. Watching the Austrian climb into his Ferrari, face still bleeding and covered in bandages, really struck a nerve within me, igniting a sense of courageousness as if I was in the cockpit with him. An impressive show of talent from Howard, in my opinion.
From this point, the movie seems to effortlessly change moods from quite a melancholy atmosphere to a fired up and heated environment with a sense of intense competition as we learn that, although Hunt has increased his lead in the championship dramatically, Lauda still has a chance of being crowned world champion. The excitement created from this is exactly the feeling you would expect from the climax of a motorsport championship as large as F1 and would most likely get the blood pumping of any hooked viewer motorsport fan or not. Although Hunt ultimately wins the title, there never feels like there is a clear winner or loser as it is obvious to see that the fierce nature of the two driver’s rivalry had, in fact, brought the two closers together behind closed doors. This combination of competitive glory and emotional bonding really helps tie up the story leaving no loopholes or questions unanswered. A truly rich ending to story that was as exhilarating as it was true.
Rush is currently available on Prime Video and was rated 15 by the BBFC.