My heart leaps up when I behold a Formula One car on the fly
Wroooouuummmm! Iaaauuuoooooschhhhhhh! Euooooooouuuu! Pfffshhhhhouuuuuu!
OK, I’m sorry. I’m a lousy imitator. But I case you didn’t recognize it: it’s supposed to be a car engine. Don’t ask me which, because I can’t tell one from the other. But there are others who can, such as the people over at Sports car digest: “When you saw a Lotus, a McLaren or a six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 you heard a Cosworth DFV V-8, and when you saw a BRM or a Ferrari you heard their respective V or flat-12.” I take this as an approval.
In any case, I just wanted to start off this post by a sound, because the roaring of the cars is one of the things that I enjoyed most about Rush. I know it comes off as a little bit odd. Who above the age of eleven gives a crap about accelerating sports cars? It’s just ugly, annoying noise, polluting the silence?
Nevertheless, as little sense as it makes, my heart started to beat a bit quicker every time the noise went up and I knew that the group of cars was approaching.
Partly it was because I – for good reasons – worried about the security of the drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, whose rivalry the film is all about. Without knowing anything about the true story, I couldn’t see how this could end in any other way than a car crash of some sort.
But there was also this other element of joy: the thrill when the sound waves went into my seat so I could feel it vibrating, the rush of adrenaline as the car accelerated. For a brief moment it was me clinging to the back of the flying, roaring dragon, trying to become its master.
In reality I’m of course a coward of a driver, unable to get a go-cart run any faster than walking speed. The one time I tried, at a work-event, I had to step out after just a few rounds since all the twisting and turning made me nauseous. However there is something about the craziness, the speed and the people putting their lives at risk that attracts me.
If the film had been completely fictional they would probably have turned one of the drivers into a hero and the other one a villain. As it is now they’re presented as different personality types. One is a perfectionist, grinding his way to stardom by calculations and hard work. The other one is a talent, who wins thanks to his intuition and fearlessness. Both are likeable in their own way, even though I personally found it easier to identify with Lauda, the geek, than Hunt, the playboy.
I’m a little bit late with this review and I’m afraid that the movie probably doesn’t run in a lot of theatres at this point. It’s a shame, because it should really be seen on a big screen. I suppose it’s watchable at home too, provided that you have a good sound system and patient neighbours.
Rush (Ron Howard, US 2013) My rating: 4/5