I grew up in the 90s, waking up to action-packed Formula 1 races on Sundays, watching Michael Schumacher take the championship in his blue Benetton car and then being ecstatic when he signed up with Ferrari where his battles with Mika Häkkinen’s McLaren were nothing short of legend! Formula 1 racing is as exciting today as it was back in the day, with great rivalries between drivers and teams fuelling the passion to win races and open that bottle of champagne on the podium.
However, there have been very few films that have been made about this world. A huge Formula 1 fan, Sylvester Stallone produced, wrote and starred in Driven, a 2001 racing film, which was originally intended to be about Formula 1 racing, but ended up being more of a drag! There are of course some great documentaries about the world of Formula 1, and the recent film Senna about the life and times of Ayrton Senna, world champion who died at the wheel, received much critical acclaim.
Earlier this weekend, I had the opportunity to watch the film Rush at the cinema, with my father (who instilled the passion for Formula 1 racing in me) and my younger brother (who is growing up to be an avid motorsports fan). I usually try and keep up with films in development, but this one came out of the blue, and I am so glad I caught this! Rush could very well be the film of the year and I am going to give you 10 reasons why you should be watching this film, as soon as possible!
10. Your introduction to Formula 1 racing.
The film is set between the years 1970-1976, when Formula 1 racing cars were drastically different to what they currently look like. Many of the rules and regulations have changed and the calendar is now jam-packed with races all across the world. Formula 1 racing is also much safer than what it used to be. What hasn’t changed, however, is the drama, the action, the rivalries, the glamour, the tension filled atmosphere as you cheer on your driver and team to the chequered flag and the rivalry between the Ferrari and McLaren racing teams!
There are six races remaining this season, including the Japanese, Indian, Abu Dhabi, American, and the Brazilian Grands Prix. Check out Formula1.com for dates and your local timings!
9. A film where “artistic licence” actually works out.
The film shows the great rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, but in reality, the two shared a one-bedroom apartment in the beginning of their careers and Lauda in his biography (To Hell and Back) described Hunt as an “open, honest to God pal”. The cinematic approach is always about a little exaggeration and film’s portrayal of the fierce rivalry between the two drivers, from the first moment the two lay eyes on each other, makes the it thrilling and takes the film to a whole other level.
RUSH (@rushthemovie) September 19, 2013
8. Transport yourself to a different world.
Formula 1 racing is all about high octane speed, thrilling chases and the music from the engines! It is best experienced on a racing track, but if you can’t make it to any of the Grands Prix, you can go watch Rush.
The cinematography (Oscar winner Anthony Dod Mantle – 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) allows you to go on the chase along with the racing cars, and you find yourself manoeuvring chicanes (corners) and overtaking rival drivers, all the while you are sitting in your cinema seat. The engine sounds will leave your hearts thumping and the editing (another Oscar winner Daniel P. Henley – The Da Vinci code, Angels and Demons) will get your adrenalin pumping as you watch the races unfold.
The world is further brought to life by the costumes, the colouring and the art/set decoration, all of which make the racing world of the ’70s exciting and thrilling!
7. Hans Zimmer scored the soundtrack.
The above title speaks for itself. Hans Zimmer’s original soundtrack can make any movie ten times more epic and the score kept playing in my head even after I had left the cinema and returned home. You can feel the goosebumps on your skin as you listen to the track ‘’Lost But Won’’ below.
The soundtrack also includes ’70s rock music by Dave Edmunds, Steve Winwood, Mud, Thin Lizzy, and David Bowie.
6. The excellent supporting cast.
The film was cast by Nina Gould (Game of Thrones, Les Misérables, The Iron Lady and The King’s Speech) and every actor played their part to utter perfection. Whether it was Natalie Dormer’s Nurse Gemma, Olivia Wilde’s Suzy Miller, Alexandra Maria Lara’s Marlene Knaus, Pierfrancesco Favino’s Clay Regazzione, Stephen McKay’s Lord Hesketh or Stephan Manghan’s Alistair Caldwell, each performance was memorable. The two gentlemen who offer a ride to Niki and Marlene in the Italian countryside were delightful additions. Even the small glimpse of Enzo Ferrari (played by Augusto Dallara) sitting by the testing track was a great addition to the film.
5. Ron Howard’s direction and vision.
It is no secret that two-time Oscar winner Ron Howard delivers with his films. From A Beautiful Mind to The Da Vinci Code and Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard has handled stories across a range of genres and can really bring both heart and adrenalin to his films. This film has vision, it has pace and I can’t think of a single moment where I looked at the time on my watch (yes, there are plenty of films that make you look at your watch for the time), but there were some moments, where I literally shifted towards the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was up next!
4. Brilliant writing, witty dialogues and faithful characterisations.
Academy Award nominated screenwriter, Peter Morgan is known for greats such as The Last King of Scotland, The Queen and Frost/Nixon. His writing his fast-paced and the personality of his characters are faithful to their real life counterparts, mostly thanks to the witty dialogue and lines delivered by the actors, which leave you smirking, laughing and on the edge of your seat with excitement! It doesn’t matter if you are only a Niki Lauda or a James Hunt fan, because by the end of the movie, you can’t help but root for both of them, even though you started the film rooting for only one, and that is something I really enjoyed about this film.
My favourite line from the movie (not verbatim) was about how you learn more from your enemies than from your friends.
3. The leading men – Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl.
The performances of the two leads are just remarkable. After watching the film, I came home and watched interviews of Niki Lauda and James Hunt on YouTube. Needless to say, I was blown over for the second time that day.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) captures the ‘’live in the moment’’ attitude of James Hunt with ease and you’d never believe he is Australian, because his British accent was absolutely perfect. You can also fangirl over the fact that you get to see Thor’s butt in the film (I didn’t because the nude scenes had been cut out and censored in India). German actor Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds and the upcoming The Fifth Estate) channels Niki Lauda so perfectly, that you’d be confused when seeing Lauda’s actual photographs and interviews. His dialogue delivery is sharp and he captures Lauda’s spirit and attitude with remarkable precision.
Niki Lauda’s interview.
James Hunt’s interview.
The trailer, although to get a full impact of the performances, you’ll have to watch the film.
The chemistry between the two actors also came across in their exchanges, with the rivalry pouring out from the screen. The two deserve Oscar nominations and but maybe I’ll give a little bit more of an edge to Daniel Brühl for a possible Oscar nod. Add to the fact that these two guys are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! (Why are you still here … go watch this film!)
2. Get Inspired!
In fiction, the lead protagonists overcome all the obstacles in their path and rise to the occasion. These are fun to read, and watch, and can even inspire, but at the end of the day it is still fiction. One aspect of this film that makes it even more brilliant is the fact that it is based on a true story! Niki Lauda’s accident, his painful recovery and his drive to come back to the race track while still in bandages (and finish in a great position) is nothing short of inspiring. At this very moment during the film, my father turned to me and said “This is why I have a Niki Lauda jacket.”
It is easy to lose hope and give up, it is equally difficult to get back up and show the middle finger to your fears. But if you can do the latter, you can achieve anything in the world. It doesn’t matter if you are a racing fan or not, the film isn’t just about the 1976 Formula 1 season, or the great rivalry between Lauda and Hunt. The film, above and beyond, is a about human will and determination. As the film’s tagline says “Everyone is driven by something”, whether it be passion or rivalry, or an equal mix of both!
1. Watch it because it is a masterpiece of a film.
I wasn’t intending on writing a review of the film when I went to watch it, but it is safe to say that I am now obsessed with this masterpiece of a film and it is a film that must be watched by everyone! My brother is divided between copying the actions of James Hunt (flicking of the lighter) and sporting Niki Lauda’s messy hairstyle. My father is equally in awe, having actually witnessed these races on television in the 1970s and for him it is one of the best films he has seen in a while (the other one being an Indian biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag starring Farhan Akhtar). And I’m here reliving the film while writing this article, with the beautifully haunting soundtrack playing in the background.
Chris Hemsworth with James Hunt’s son, Tom Hunt at the Toronto International Film Festival.
RUSH (@rushthemovie) September 09, 2013
Daniel Brühl with Niki Lauda at the Toronto International Film Festival.
RUSH (@rushthemovie) September 09, 2013
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to go watch this film, because it needs that recognition. In addition, I hope I’ve also convinced you to watch Formula 1 races! You only need to look at these bad boys to go watch a rerun of the Singapore Grand Prix from early today and catch up on the season!
And if that isn’t enough incentive … the following gallery just might be!
Do you plan to go watch Rush? If you’ve seen the film, what was your favourite part? Let us know below!