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Rush captures F1 rivalry

Film & TV

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Set among the excesses and risks of the Formula One world in the mid-1970s, Rush looks at the lives of two very different F1 legends: British playboy racer James Hunt and Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda.

The film follows the unlikely rivalry between these two, exposing their polarising personalities and the demons they have had to face in pursuit of the World Championship.

Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) lives life on the edge with fast cars, booze and women aplenty. After a promising start to his racing career, he struggles with married life and suffers setbacks as his rich financial backer goes broke and he is left begging for a drive with the famous McLaren team. After splitting with his wife and returning to his playboy lifestyle, Hunt’s fortunes turn, which leads to the tension-filled rivalry that surrounded the famous title fight of 1976.

By contrast, Lauda (brilliantly played by Daniel Brühl) is a carefully spoken man who buys his way into a drive in the F1. His dedication and discipline sees him earn the respect of the team and a world championship with Ferrari before Hunt even makes it to McLaren.

Lauda is a man of statistics and reason. He felt that to love something other than the sport would weaken him, as he would have something to lose. The love that grows between him and his eventual wife is a joy to watch and is at its most intense after the famous and fateful race at the Nürburgring in Germany. Despite being the victim of a horrific accident that left him fighting for his life, Lauda was so driven to beat Hunt that he returned only weeks later to fight for the championship.

Director Ron Howard spent a lot of time among the current F1 teams – and it shows. The racing is raw and engulfing, with cinematic sounds and camera work that has you feeling like you are racing with them.

Seamless and sometimes unnoticeable transitions from re-created and original footage is incredible. The scene of Lauda’s crash has the viewer’s pulse racing as you are fixated on the events unfolding. The score by Hans Zimmer is a perfect accompaniment to the drama on and off the track.

F1 fanatics like myself will think Rush is fantastic, but other cinema-goers should also enjoy the incredible story of two very different people who battle their inner demons and realise the blessing of having made enemies of each other.

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