Rush chronicles the famous rivalry between Formula One's two fiercely competitive drivers, James Hunt and Niki Lauda, during the 1976 season. Lauda's near-fatal crash and relationship with Hunt forms the story.
It's easy to glamourise a film based on Formula One racing, given the nature of the sport - extreme speed, adrenaline rush, roaring engines, champagne, hot Pit girls, playboy racers and sexy F1 cars. On the other hand, it's also convenient to deglamourise a 'sports biopic' by giving it a documentary treatment.
Ron Howard doesn't succumb to either. His splendid execution strikes the right balance to give us a film that is visually stunning, moving, nail-bitingly intense and heroically entertaining, just like a Formula One Grand Prix.
While the sport is much safer today than it was in the '70's, what has stayed constant is the rivalry between drivers. So was the case with the notorious British playboy racer James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and his brilliant, methodical Austrian opponent Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). The film revolves around their contrasting ideologies and their battle for the 1976 world championship. Their passion for victory pushes them to breaking point.
You get to witness the tumultuous lives of these drivers, on and off the track. Also, the film doesn't merely state facts in an episodic manner. The story-telling lends depth to the characters, leaving you emotionally invested in them. You feel their fear, regrets, insecurities and vulnerability.
What adds to the film's brilliance is its astounding cinematography, be it the wheel-to-wheel, rain-soaked racing or crash scenes. Performances are supremely authentic as well. Both Hemsworth and Bruhl play their parts with utmost perfection. Background score creates the psychological tension required.
If you are a F1 fan, you must know that
starts from the pole position, maintains its momentum and makes it to the chequered flag for a grand podium finish. Long after it's over, you don't think about death, danger, victory or rivalry. You remember two champions who didn't race for a living but lived because they loved racing.