“My parents always wanted me to become a doctor…” Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt in the movie Rush directed by Ron Howard
Rush portrayed raw ambition in one of the best films of 2013*
Formula One is a sport that is filled with magic and a sense of showmanship that rivals no other. In the movie aptly titled Rush, it has now been acutely captured by the energy of Hollywood and the creative mind of Ron Howard. Howard always seems to go deeper into a story but not too deep that you get lost. In this case a historical genre piece gives him the opportunity to package a film and have a nicely wrapped up finish.
Howard has ignited a battle that captivated Formula One racing and the drama that surrounded the sport during the days when it was seductively laced with sex and rock ‘n' roll. He took a hard nosed Austrian Niki Lauda played by Daniel Brühl and threw the kitchen sink at him with Chris Hemsworth’s James Hunt. The film ebbs and flows in true racing style, whilst been smoothly polished by the musical production of Hans Zimmer. One feels to side with both characters as the style of the film never creates a stereotypical Villain versus Hero or David versus Goliath bout for that matter. Rather a fresh challenge of a no holds barred duel between two spirited heroes of their time is put forward.
Ron Howard and Chris Hemsworth pictured during the filming of Rush*
Early in the movie we see Hunt accepting an award, speaking candidly of how his parents wanted him to become a doctor and not a racer. Lauda faced similar challenges, his parents wanted him to pursue a career in business which was the acclaimed success route of his family. These sorts of stories still exist with young individuals of today except they don’t argue they want to be world champions!
Perhaps that inspiring aspect of the film needed to be highlighted. Sparring off each others egos and factoring in dream ambitions to race around the planet with a common goal of being named the World Champion. We are introduced to a non stop battle between these two champions that entertains and engages the audience throughout. Gladly justifying their chosen profession!
Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda in Rush*
Many stories have been publicised regarding Formula One, but Howard has chosen the one that has the right 'drive' and sex appeal. The result is the drawing in of all interests not just people who are knowledgeable with the world of motorsport. Hemsworth is bullish, emotional and reckless and always capturing the audience with his version of James Hunt. Whilst Daniel Brühl justifies the clinical focus of Lauder and pulls the audience along with him. Throughout the movie you never want to see anyone quit or fail, you just want to see who will deliver the next punch and how it will be countered.
Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt in Rush*
The magic of Formula One was arguably conceived in that 1976 season and this has allowed for a true Hollywood tale to script itself. It was a season that at the time was keenly watched and documented in Technicolor by the modern day media, tabloid press and public. It was also a ruthless season for both Lauda and Hunt, with every possible agenda and incident challenging them but never once holding them back. One wonders if initially Hunt did go onto become a doctor and Lauder a businessman (he did later after retiring from racing) would Formula One ever have uncorked itself into a magical sport that it is today. Perhaps not but probably it is that ambitious nature that Howard wanted the audience to understand and that it could be applied to anything and not just racing.
Rush is Ron Howard's way of giving us a quick glimpse into one of the greatest sporting seasons of all time by capturing the life of two stars into that one season. Providing an example of the magic and showmanship that altogether epitomises the style of these legends and the sport they raced their lives within!
(*© 2008 Nu Metro Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Jaap Buitendijk © Rush Films Limited / Egoli Tossell Film and Action Image)