Rush is the true story of the rivalry between formula one drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). It chronicles their history, from their first meeting in a formula three race in 1970, to the conclusion of the 1976 formula one season. I have to be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of formula one, and I was a little bit afraid that my enjoyment of this film would be hampered by me not being enthusiastic about its subject sport, which I assumed would take over most of the film. Fortunately though, Rush turned out to be a great drama piece, driven by great performances from Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl in the leading roles.
The root of Hunt and Lauda’s antagonistic relationship is shown in their first race – they are literally the opposite of each other. Hunt is the beloved hedonistic playboy who races because of his passion for driving, and his love for being so close to death. Lauda is the precise technical genius, who prefers to weigh up the risks of a race before stepping into his car. The energy between these two characters is what pushes the entire film forward (thankfully for me and other viewers who aren’t into formula one). But that’s not to say that the driving sequences are done badly – I loved the camera techniques used to highlight small sections of the car’s interior while it was moving, it shows a great appreciation for the machine’s role in the film. The racing element also acts as a high-stakes narrative vehicle (no pun intended) for the dynamic relationship between Hunt and Lauda. Another narrative element that stood out for me was the use of time jumps. Without giving too much away, the decision to jump backwards and forwards in time (as well as switching perspectives between Hunt and Lauda) adds to the ambiguity in their relationship. Not knowing the true story behind the real-life characters, I wasn’t quite sure how this film was going to resolve the rivalry between them. I remember thinking it would have been a bit odd if (minor spoilers here) their relationship was flipped at the end, and it became a bit bromance-y, but I also wanted to see them come to some kind of understanding. I’m happy to say that a very satisfying ending is delivered – watch for Niki Lauda’s quote in the ending scene, it sums up the film perfectly.
You need to go and see this film. That’s all I can say. Even if, like me, you don’t enjoy formula one, trust me; it doesn’t play the biggest part in this film, and it definitely won’t detract from your enjoyment of it. What does play a big part is an amazing true story between two rival sportsmen, delivered to us by two very strong actors. Go on. Go see it. You know you want to.
“You need to go and see this film”