Rush is about the rivalry between two young drivers who fought for the Formula 1 championship in the 1970s. In one corner, we have the blond playboy Brit by the name of James Hunt, who competed for the good times, the glory, and the fun. In the opposing corner lurks Niki Lauda, born into Austrian wealth, whose demeanor was that of a highly organized rodent, and who approached every race as if it could be solved by quadratic equations.
It’s a classic formula of opposites… Rush is an outsize Hollywood spectacle about two outsize personalities in conflict, a sleekly assembled thrill machine that makes up in excitement for what it lacks in nuance. As compelling in narrative as it is viscerally thrilling, the drama’s interest lies in their both emerging as heroes, expertly shifting lanes with our sympathies as the gritty shot story vrooms along.
Rush undoubtedly play very well with those familiar with the Hunt-Lauda rivalry, as its attention to detail is second to none… But it might play even better with those blind to the film’s dramatic twists and turns. That the resulting legacy of Hunt and Lauda is so eloquently narrated by Lauda himself at the film’s conclusion, instead of the usual archived photos and text, is one of many good decisions on display in the movie.
Rush really takes off once it catches up to the German Grand Prix starting line, and begins a remarkably dramatic chain of events that almost seems too gripping to be true. It’s here that Lauda’s relationship with his wife, Marlene, breaks through as the heartbeat of the picture, and Brühl does some fantastic physical acting that forces the audience into his corner no matter how unlikable he is at times.
Brühl is exceptional in his actorly restraint, given multiple opportunities to win over the audience with easy sentimental uplift, he refuses them all to create a character who’s prickly and charmless, yet oddly admirable.
Hemsworth’s performance is rather broader, all he really has to do is turn the lion-maned golden-boy charisma up to 11 and keep it there for two hour. But he far exceeded the requirements… with this scene being the highlight
Much of the camera work, particularly during the race scenes, adds a level of vibrancy that other filmmakers couldn’t dream of !! Combined with seamless CGI, top of the line art design, and on-point editing, exceptional photography and a killer soundtrack makes this director Ron Howard’s most visually appealing film yet… by a significant margin. The Nürburgring Grand Prix sequence brings to life the original events in the most thrilling manner.
More than anything else, “Rush” captures the spirit of competition so vividly that you’re frequently caught off guard. When a newly married Lauda says to his wife, “Happiness is the enemy,” it wonderfully summarizes the inherent inner conflict of any great athlete or artist. The idea that pain breeds greatness is a major theme here, something Lauda goes on to experience in a big way.
This isn’t a movie that paints in fine brushstrokes, but there’s something primally satisfying about the starkness of its last, suspenseful faceoff : two rivals, two cars, one rain-drenched racetrack, and may the best man win.
At the same time, if this thrilling drama is made to be a point of interest for motorheads , then Titanic is solely of interest to historic ship enthusiasts !!
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