DIRECTOR: Rob Howard
May contain Spoilers!
Based on the true story of the rivalry between the German Formula 1 driver Nicki Lauda and his British counterpart, James Hunt in the early to mid 1970’s, Ron Howard’s adaptation is supposedly not too far from the truth.
This is supported by Lauda himself yet the film does take some theatrical licence and one major deviation from my understanding. Rush portrays a relationship of chalk and cheese, a dislike yet and respect for each other.
Hunt was a womanising playboy who revelled in the danger of the 1970’s Formula 1 scene, which compared to the today’s rigorous safety standards, was deadly, whilst Lauda is all about taking calculated risks, pushing himself and his car a far as is responsible. But this did not stop him suffering life-threatening injuries during the 1976 season, whcih Hunt was to win by just one point.
But it was this rivalry which drove Lauda to recover in time to ruturn to the track within just a few races to defend his title.
Ron Howard is a hit a miss director, with some of gems under his belt, Apollo 13 (1995), Backdraft (1991), A beautiful Mind (2001) and Cocoon (1986), but there have also been plenty of forgettable turns, such as The Paper (1993) anyone? But when he is on form, we have movies like this. Great pacing, a solid story, just enough tweaking of the truth to capture the essence of the story but one major difference that I can see is that Hunt and Lauda were friends in real life and were so before the rivalry began and would be so after the fact.
This film seems to take the view that a sort of respectful friendship grew out of the rivalry and that there was nothing beforehand except maybe the respect. But I am not any kind of authority on F1 so I may be mistaken but this is how I understand it. That aside, Howard had drawn the heart of the story out and we are left with an engrossing tale of this Formula 1 season and one whcih is palatable for fans and laymen alike.