Rush – 4.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

rushRush – 4.5/5 – What I love about going to watch films is that, no matter what you know going into a film, you just do not ever know what you’re going to feel.  No matter what the film turns out to be, if you genuinely feel like you have become part of the story, it will make you love the film more.  Rush is that kind of film.  Based on a true story, Rush is a tantalizing tale that will show two characters that seem so different in the beginning, but are just one in the same by the end.

Premise:  Two drivers, one goal.  In the era of the golden years of Formula 1 racing, there was one rivalry that had no bounds.  This rivalry was the one between Hunt and Lauda.   Through one of the most competitive seasons of racing (1976) we become witness to what really was truth behind the curtain, and how these two distinct individuals were truly, one in the same.

At the heart of this film are the two main drivers in the rivalry; James Hunt and Niki Lauda.  Playing James Hunt is actor Chris Hemsworth, and playing Niki Lauda is actor Daniel Bruhl.  Chris Hemsworth is well known to most audiences in his portrayal of Thor in the marvel films, but as James Hunt, he provides a truly distinct individual.  On screen, Hemsworth shows us a man that is a real play boy.  He loves the partying, drinking and any woman that throws herself at him.  Even for this, the distinction in this role is that he has another side.  When it comes to racing, Hunt turns into another individual, someone who is brash and shows his talent; he is one of the best on the race track.  This side of the coin is brought out drastically because he continually (from the beginning) battles with another talented racer, Niki Lauda.  As Niki Lauda, Daniel Bruhl provides the audience with an individual who, as a man, is the complete opposite of James Hunt.  He is not one that dabbles in the fame, girls of partying.  Lauda is a more homegrown individual, who is focused and dedicated to proving to be the best racer on the track.  He is smart, calculated, and will go to any means logically to do everything to win.  In creating two distinct individuals, we get layers of both their lives, the racing lifestyle as were as their private life (behind closed doors).  We see that they are human, showing they are emotional characters behind the ‘racer’ facade.  In this, they are attracted to each other because of their competition and trying to prove certain points (which will be explained later).  The interactions with each other’s helps humanize their existence, providing a whisk of a trance for the audience to not hate or cheer, but to enjoy their path in life.  Outside of these two, the supporting cast is decent enough to provide depth to the main character’s stories.  Each main character has supporting characters’ that are family, partners on the racing team or ‘relationship’ partners.  Outside of providing the depth to the main character’s persona, they don’t do much outside of being flavored archetype to make the film move along.

Since this is a ‘based on true story’ film, the direction goes along a traditional linear track.  Along with it being linear, it also has a paralleling ‘chronological’ direction, which helps show significant stages in both Hunt’s and Lauda’s career.  The film starts off with a quick ‘prologue’, staging the basis of the ‘rivalry’ theme between both drivers.  The first half of the film (as mentioned earlier) goes a linear path, but also follows in parallel with a chronological perspective.  The film flips back and forth between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, as they begin their start in racing.  Through narration by Lauda and some by Hunt, we get a glimpse into what brings these two opposites into the fray, as well as their struggles with departing from what their families wanted them to be.  Starting from separate ends, their stories begin to intertwine in the lower racing division, as they both make their steps upward (in different fashions) to the main grand prix circuit.  Along the way, we get to see how both characters deal with trying to be bigger and better in the sport, as well as find ways to one up one another on the track.  These two exemplify strong skills on the track, but also how that strength is a flaw in their personal life.  Lauda’s complete dedication to becoming the best racer also ‘alienates’ him from his race team.  This also helps provide a wall between others who were close to him (including his race teammate and wife).  Hunt’s brash and arrogant attitude on the track, combined with his ‘play boy’ lifestyle helps bring his relationships down the drain.  Through this, Hunt struggles between being himself but also find a way to become champion.  As the film moves at a face pace, this struggle helps characterize the film, providing the audience an emotional foray that connects them to both characters.  As they achieve the highest accolades in racing, both must realize that certain things are just mirrors to prove some worth to life.   This envelope of emotions helps drive (no pun intended) the racing scenes even further into a raw dramatic tension, causing an adrenaline rush that is both heartfelt and fierce.  When the film heads into the second half, all the characterization and emotions help pave a way to scenes of distraught, reason, sacrifice, and ultimate redemption.  This helps lead both men to finding what their worth to this life is.   The climax is lukewarm, but the subtlety helps provide ‘completeness’ to the true story elements.  Once the film comes to an end, you realize that the spectrum of humility and arrogance helps in their rivalry, but also helps bring some respectable accord for both characters.

The cinematography is beyond superb.  No matter if it is the recreation of the 1970s, the race tracks or the race sequence; all are flushed in soothing colors, precision and wonderful slickness because of creative camera angles.  During the races, the heart pumping scenarios are invoked by the quick snaps and the ‘close-up’ perspective of the driver, and the tracks.  All of this helps provide an ‘I was there’ kind of scenario for the audience.  The score is amazing in the film.   The music is pumped through as quaint as a whisper, but is ironically powerful in this softness.  This kind of creative balance helps the emotional tone stay riveted, even when racing isn’t going on.

Overall, Rush is a marvel of a film.  Great characters, wonderful story and relative themes, there is nothing bad to say about this film.  I recommend this film to any fans of films, or if you’re looking for a film to see this weekend.

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