Saturday, 12 October 2013

Rush (2013)

Rush, 2013, Trailer

Genre: Drama, Biography, Action
Starring: Daniel Brühl , Chris Hemsworth , Olivia Wilde
Director:  Ron Howard
IMDB Rating: 8.3/10
My Rating: 7.0/10
Runtime: 2hrs 3mins

Synopsis: Rush tells the story of the great Formula 1 rivalry between English man James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda. Hunt is everything Lauda is not - brash, unpredictable, a party animal and a ladies man. Lauda on the other hand is methodical, calculated, hard working and socially inept. They are, however, both fantastic race car drivers and battle it out during one of the most dangerous periods for the sport - the 1970's. The story is a biographical account of the events which took place in the epic 1976 Formula 1 racing season.

It's hard not to compare this film to the wonderful 2010 documentary Senna. Although the characters and setting have changed, Rush feels like the Hollywood version of the film. This is not a criticism, just an observation. Rush has a certain documentary aesthetic, most notably in the cinematography, where D.O.P. Anthony Dod Mantle mimics camera angles you might see on the television. The film looks fantastic, in particular the shots of the Formula 1 cars during heavy rainfall.

This is a film about a sporting rivalry. Director Ron Howard shares equal time with Hunt and Lauda such that, at times, I found it hard to decide who I was rooting for. Both characters have their strengths and their flaws. Perhaps this was intentional? Sports fans are prone to sunshine supporting and Formula 1 is no exception. It's amazing how quickly a crowd can turn on you. If I had to chose which character I preferred, I would have to say Lauda. Daniel Bruhl (Goodbye Lenin) is the stand out performer for me and I'd be surprised not to see him take home an Oscar this year.

The film tries it's best to remain truthful to the events that took place. As a result, there's a section in the middle of the timeline that we could have done without. It's the fourth quarter of the film that really starts to get juicy. Personally, I would have had this turning point come sooner. It must be a very difficult decision to make when writing a biographical film - do I neglect the truth for a better story or do I stay true to events? In some ways, I think Ron Howard tried to do both and, as a result, some parts are better than others. I wonder if a more 'loosely based' true story would have had a better outcome? Either way, Rush is a thoroughly engaging film and you need not have a clue about Formula 1 racing to enjoy it.

By Gavin Fitzgerald

I suffer from severe anxiety and I am on anti-depressants, should I watch this film on a Sunday night? VROOM VROOM!

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