“The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel”
They say there’s always that one driving force that doesn’t let you deter from your life’s ultimate goal. It’s a lesser known fact, however, that few achieve it, yet what’s commendable is the grit and determination and perseverance. For James Hunt and Niki Lauda, it was crossing the chequered flag on every race circuit in the world to be declared World champion, while defeating the opponent by a fraction of a few seconds. Rush, directed by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) narrates the story of these two rivals, renowned for the name they earned at the circuit, while making headlines outside of the race circuit too.
Starring Daniel Brühl (seen in Inglorious Basterds) and Chris Hemsworth (best known as Thor), the film does complete justice to the real-life events that unfolded in the year 1976, the year that completely changed Niki Lauda’s life’s course. Daniel Brühl fits perfectly into the role of the legendary F1 driver, the look, especially, completely intact, even prosthetic front teeth (Niki Lauda was nicknamed ‘The Rat’). The resilience of the F1 champion is absolutely awe-inspiring and has been aptly portrayed by Brühl. From fighting to be the champion, to fighting a personal battle, the film has it all. This, of course, is a biopic of sorts on Niki Lauda. Many articles published on the driver, along with interviews post the release of the film abroad, show a positive response from the Formula One race champion himself. Such pragmatism, such willpower, there’s so much that shall go unsaid, for this is something one can only witness for themselves. There’s a different message the film carries for everyone.
Rush, rests on Chris Hemsworth’s shoulders as much as Daniel Brühl’s, of course, held together by a very tight script and ace direction. Chris Hemsworth, as James Hunt, has totally taken me by surprise with his performance in a more mature and audacious role. He brings back James Hunt to life with much aplomb, keeping the cockiness, the charm, the body language et al similar to the Hunt’s character, as he was best known to the world, live each day to the fullest. It’s sad that he passed away very early, despite having quit all hedonistic activities 4 years or so before he died of a cardiac arrest.
The rivalry between the two Formula One drivers is what the movie is based on, which oozes out with that much ease on the screen. The tension between them started during their Formula Three days. A particular scene, apart from many others, touched a chord in my heart though… Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) in conversation with James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) when the former mentions how the latter was partially responsible for his near-fatal accident at The Nürburgring as much as he was responsible for bringing him back to the circuit to compete for the Championship title despite ill-health. Fabulous is an understatement for a well-told sports-drama such as Rush.
Ron Howard and Peter Morgan join forces yet again after having presented Academy-Award winner, Frost/Nixon (2008). It is, perhaps, a daunting task to retell historical facts and thence seeing it being developed into a feature film. Ron Howard, is someone whose work has gained him a great fan following. From casting Tom Hanks in Apollo 13 to Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind and many others, this director has presented some exemplary work in a matter of a few years. The music score given by Hans Zimmer is inexplicably mesmerizing, something that’ll seep slowly into your senses.
Don’t ask yourself why you must watch this film, ask why you shouldn’t. This film is not just meant for a few Formula One aficionados out there. A film such as this deserves to reach out to everyone to register at least one message that it carries throughout its approx. 120-minute run time. Feel the thrill, the excitement, the pain, the angst, the rivalry and the awesomeness.