Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara
Wishing upon the stars for some excitement in your life this weekend? Well, look no further than your nearest Cineplex, because your wish has materialized in the new Ron Howard film “RUSH”, and you don’t have to be a racing fan to enjoy this.
Rush is the adrenaline fueled tale of the 1976 Formula One rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).
These men are as different as night and day. Hunt is a playboy who enjoys every moment of his life, not questioning things, simply believing in himself and his abilities on the track… and elsewhere if you catch my drift, while Lauda lives for proof in knowing that he’s a winner, because he ultimately doesn’t believe in himself, and he will and does what it takes to win. Lauda knows the ins and outs better than Hunt, who beats him in the first race they appear in together, and he desperately wants Hunt to know how good he is. Winning isn’t good enough but the jealousy he feels toward Hunt tells you that creating an enemy for himself will give Lauda the push he needs to get to the finish line on the biggest track available to him. Hunt says in a voiceover, “The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.” This is important to remember when hearing that in 1976, Formula One was averaging about two deaths a year on the track. You’d have to be a bit crazy to want to do this for a living, but the film would have you believe that, even more than women, men love cars. They will take the risk.
Unable to get close to anyone, Lauda only enjoys his chosen profession, and with the taste of the sport that Howard gives you by using the EOS C300 camera, which was perfect for close up hand held shots he couldn’t have gotten with larger cameras, you see what the “rush” is all about. Unlike some movies that might only show a car driving in circles, Howard puts you in the car and moves you around the track with tight shots of the vehicle, its inner workings and how the machine and driver work together as one unit, which keeps the pace and keeps you involved.
This is based on a true story so it leaves one to question what of the story, written by Peter Morgan, is embellishment and how much. The footage at the end of the film of the real Hunt and Lauda makes you wonder what pushes people to do the things they do and be willing to die young and when, if ever, perspective changes, as you’ll witness in Rush. Watching Lauda realize he’s more important than a win on the track has everything to do with his rivalry with Hunt, but did Hunt really know Lauda even existed beyond a name next to a sponsor stuck to the side of a car? You be the judge.