Culture Street

Film review: Rush

On October 3, 2013

By Sophia Whitfield

Directed by Ron Howard, Rush is a high octane high energy fuelled film that tracks the story behind the rivalry of British Formula One racing car driver James Hunt and his Austrian born adversary Niki Lauda. Set between 1970 -1976, a time when at least two fatal crashes occurred every year on the circuit, this film pulls no punches when it comes to showing the sheer danger involved when racing these tiny cars.

Director Ron Howard (Apollo 13) has teamed up once again with scriptwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen) after their successful collaboration in Frost/Nixon. Howard is well known for his love of cars, but this film is not just a rush of speed; emotional scars are revealed as two ambitious men battle it out for poll position.

James Hunt, played by Chris Hemsworth with a plum British accent, is a privileged womaniser with a degree of lovability. In contrast Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) is disliked by most for his single minded desire to win at all costs. He is methodical and disciplined in his approach to racing. Starting out in Formula Three Lauda strikes a deal that launches himself into Formula One. He is swiftly followed by Hunt. So begins the rivalry of these two men and between Ferrari and McLaren.

It is only when the shocking accident occurs in a Grand Prix at Nurburgring where Lauda sustains horrific burn injuries that the storyline switches from Hunt to Lauda.  The 1976 Formula One championship pits both men against each other. Both will be pushed both psychologically and physically as they pursue the coveted title of World Champion.

Much credit should go to cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, who deftly captures the sheer speed and terror on the Grand Prix circuit. Speed, noise and intensity keep the momentum of this film firing along.

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