Being a Formula 1 enthusiast, I’ve been eagerly waiting for this movie for some time. My expectations soared high after positive reviews started pouring in on twitter from UK where it was released last week. And I was left speechless after watching the movie for its sheer brilliance.
Rush dramatizes the real-life rivalry between F1 legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Chris Helmsworth plays the role of James Hunt, a brash English playboy who is routinely seen with glass of champagne and women swarming over him. On the other hand, the role of Niki Lauda was essayed by German actor Daniel Brunl. Austrian driver Lauda was gumptious, tech-savvy and methodical. Both the drivers pushed each other to the limits on the track.
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Set in 1970s, considered golden era of Formula 1, the film captures the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda right from the junior classes to the premier class of Formula 1. Their rivalry reaches crescendo during 1976 season. Lauda was leading the championship before he crashed at German race that burnt his face and damaged his lungs. He was hospitalised and in the meanwhile Hunt closes in on his lead. Six weeks later, Lauda gets behind the wheel again against his doctor’s advice. What unfolds next is truly mesmerizing.
The performances are strong from both the protagonists especially Daniel Brunl. The movie defies the stereotype that is associated with Motorsports movies for being bland and lacking good script. Full credit goes to director Ron Howard and writer Peter Morgan. The racing scenes are highly thrilling, conversations are intermittently witty and the drama in the paddock and elsewhere is gripping. The comeback race of Niki Lauda in Monza and the climax race at Japan are superbly crafted and arguably the highlights of the movie.
For someone who is used to seeing Sebastian Vettel leading the pack most of the time, watching this movie made me realize what I am missing in the contemporary Formula 1: wheel-to-wheel racing, frequent change of positions and deafening grunt of bigger capacity engines. No wonder the decade of 70s is called golden era of F1.
Rush overall is intriguing from the outset to the climax. For F1 fans, this movie will be a treat to watch. For others, this movie will not disappoint.