Rush is a biographical action packed film, directed by Ron Howard about the 1976 Formula One season and the rivalry between drivers James Hunt(played by Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda(palyed by Daniel Bruhl) and the unfortunate accident that happened on August 1,1976 at the German Grand Prix.
Hunt is extremely talented fast driver who has reputation of being a playboy. He drinks, smokes and beds his way through the season, seemingly driven by the sole need to defeat his archrival for the title. His only motivation to prove to himself that he can be the best. The sheer determination that comes from self motivation can be seen in his driving.
Lauda, on the other hand, is more of a calculating intelligent character. Literally a genius at setting up his racing car, he knows the car spec just by the feel of the car's drive on his bum (a joke in the movie, but is possible). He is portrayed as the polar opposite of Hunt – a cantankerous genius driver largely shunned by other due to being too technical and non-risk taker(before the accident).
Hemsworth does amazingly with his screen charm and arrogance to nail the perfectly shallow Hunt, but Bruhl’s performance as the no-nonsense serious-kind person that Lauda actually was, is where RUSH gets truly exceptional.
The movie's direction is epic, each scene is exceptional and never feels repetitive. Kudos to Ron Howard on that! Creating those adrenaline pumping moments require extensive shooting and hard-work. And the story is not concentrated on any particular character, but on how the relationship between Hunt and Lauda began and progressed evolving with each race they compete. Each character making something on their own, and the battles they have to fight to make it to F1.
Lauda entered F1 on his own borrowing money from a bank, but ran into debt when everything didn't go his way. However he was given a lucky break as Ferrari wasn't performing disastrously that season, paving way for Lauda launch into F1 with Ferrari. As for Hunt when Hesketh couldn't get sponsors, he had to convince McLaren that he could beat Lauda.
James Hunt: "I can beat this guy. Trust me."
Teddy Mayer: "Niki Lauda, he's consistent, dependable."
James Hunt: "Will he put his life on the line the day it really matters?"
And this is where their story began...
The events concerning in this movie go back to 1976. Lauda had won the championship the previous year and it looked that he would be winning it again this year, even though Hunt was breathing down his neck. But God had other plans...
The German Grand Prix of 1976.
Lauda had doubts about the track safety and urged fellow drivers to boycott the race, which the other drivers esp. Hunt thought as a scared move on his part that others wont catch up to him in championship point run, thus rejecting his decision. Both Hunt and Lauda went on wet tires which they had to replace immediately after Lap 1. Hunt got the lead during the pit stop, and Lauda had lot of catching up to do, thus making him go faster than necessary. During the second lap, his car faced a rear suspension failure causing his ferrari to spin out of control on a curve and hit the embankment sending the car into the path of another driver which then exploded into flames while spectators on the track and television watched in horror as Lauda was still trap inside.
Several drivers came to his rescue, but not before he sustained first and third degree burns to his head and inhaled toxic gases that damaged his lungs. He survived the freak accident but it costed him his face.
It was sheer determination and extraordinary will power on his part to return to race only six weeks after the accident that almost claimed his life and finished in an honorable fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix. Hunt who had gained on Lauda's absence had to win almost all races to win the championship that was his, had Lauda not returned. Hunt by then had grown admiration for Lauda, and started respecting the man he had despised.
It all concluded at the Japanese Grand Prix, for Hunt to win the title he needed to beat Lauda at any cost and be within top 3. The race conditions were torrentially wet, and Lauda had to retire as he did not feel safe with excess water going in his eyes. By then no one could blame him. Racing through the same condition that had caused the accident. Buhhh! Lauda had nothing left to prove, he would come back and later go on winning two more championships.
The race was Hunt's who after leading most of the race suffered a puncture, then had a delayed pitstop and finally received mixed pit signals from his team. Any other person would have defeat, but not Hunt, who drove like a maniac and managed to finish in third place, scoring four points, enough for him to win the World Championship by one point. The story is about the personal battle of two souls quite different from the outside, but same in the core.
Finally, bow down to Hans Zimmer for bring out the adrenaline rush, his soundtrack combined with sounds from the engines roar, made the cinematic experience one of a kind. Truly, a difference maker when it comes to making a movie a masterpiece. I WOULD say Rush is a masterpiece. It's ability to show two different people achieve the same goal combined with amazing cinematography is truly spectacular.
My only wish is for a Senna movie to come, even though the documentary Senna(2010) was world-class. But I feel more people should know Senna who is godly for F1, just like they would now know Hunt and Lauda.
Hope you enjoyed the post. Leaving you with Hans Zimmer amazing soundtrack from RUSH itself. To describe it would be unjustly, just enjoy it!