Rush: Sporting rivalry at its finestপোস্টটি ১৩০০ বার পঠিত হয়েছে
If I ask you to name some of sports’ greatest individual rivalries, the most common answers I’ll get are Messi-Ronaldo, Woods-Mickelson, O’Neal-Bryant etc. Very rarely (and I won’t even be surprised if I don’t find any) will I find someone mentioning the fierce, the brutally magnificent rivalry of two of the greatest Formula 1 drivers that ever lived, the Austrian ‘Professor’ Niki Lauda(Daniel Bruhl) and The pretty British playboy, James Hunt(Chris Hemsworth). Thankfully for the sports fans around the globe, Director Ron Howard stepped in and gifted us, what could possibly be, the greatest sports movie ever made. With an IMDb rating of 8.1, even after three years of its release, Rush still remains one of those movies you just want to watch time and time again. Such is its beauty. Such is its brilliance based on a true story.
The movie states back to 1976 F1 World Championship, which in the end, comes down to two of the most gifted drivers of that season and obviously in F1’s entire history; the calm, collected, family guy, a genuine car teachnology genius, Niki Lauda and the brash, cocky, arrogant, womanizer, obsessed with the short term glory rather than the long term one, James Hunt. The duo’s first faceoff happens in 1970, in a Formula 3 race at Crystal Palace where Hunt’s dangerous tactics costs the meticulous Lauda after Hunt eventually wins that race, a coming together and a heated exchange of words builds up the rivalry. Lauda joins up the British Racing Motors Formula Racing whereas Hunt still stays with Hesketh Racing. We’re then given a fast forward journey of F1 from 1973 to 1975 where the cruel, dangerous, bone chilling journey of an F1 driver’s life is shown especially with the gruesome accident of Francois Cevert and in which, as many as 6 of 12 racers end up either dead or seriously injured. In between all this, Lauda buys his way into Ferrari with his teammate from British Racing Clay Regazzoni. But Hunt faces serious problems as Hesketh Racing shuts up upon failing to secure sponsorship. But luckily for hunt, Emerson Fittipaldi of McLaren leaves and with one of Hesketh’s crews brilliant insights of Hunt, the Mclaren hierarchies hire him to replace Emerson.
Now starts the main part of the movie. Hunt loses the first two races to Lauda, who takes up a huge lead in terms of points in the leaderboard. Hunt wins the third race, the Spanish Grand Prix, but is disqualified because his car’s width exceeded the one set by the rule books. McLaren suffers some serious setbacks down the lines and Hunt gets shattered personally when his wife Suzy leaves him for actor Richard Burton. But all these stormy setbacks come as a blessing in disguise for James Hunt. He regains his competitive spirit and goes all out for the Championship. His disqualification is turned over by the appeal committee and he starts to gather momentum as the season starts to get in its climax.
During the German Grand Prix at one of the most dangerous racing arenas in F1 history, Nurburgring, dubbed as ‘The Green Hell’, Lauda tries to convince his fellow drivers to have one less race in the season but Hunt intervenes saying this is a cheap mindgame of Lauda to minimize the possibility of him losing his lead. Lauda & Hunt both race with wet leather tyres but face abysmal problems as the tracks dry up quickly. Lauda then faces one of the most gruesome accidents in F1 history as he suffers third degree burns to his head & face and extreme internal burnings in his lungs. Lauda gets hospitalized for six weeks where he watches Hunt cut the deficit between the pair in the leaderboard lying on the hospital bed. But Lauda astonishingly comes back in the Italian Grand Prix despite his doctors’ forbiddance and finishes fourth while Hunt withdraws from the race.
The very last race of the season happens in Japan where Lauda retires in the second round seeing the dangerous conditions. Hunt came within just three points of Lauda in his absence and needed to finish third or better to win the championship. After overcoming serious obstacles in the tracks, the nervous messup in tyre changing, the excruciating pain in his forearm caused by the gear shifter knob breaking, Hunt finishes third and wins the championship by just one solitary point. He then races for just three more years and after his retirement in 1979, becomes a sports broadcast commentator whereas after his return, Lauda becomes a champion again. Lauda talks about Hunt and his natures and how he is among the very few Lauda respected and the only one Lauda envied in what can easily be dubbed as one of the most iconic quotes in sports movies’ history.
The movie, in its own, is a masterpiece. The way Ron Howard resented the battle of two true champions literally driven by each other in their own path of greatness makes it a true gem of a movie. Recommended for petrolheads, people who have a thing for intense rivalries or simply movie enthusiasts. Rush is one of the few films which can attract audiences from almost every genre. If you thought Messi-Ronaldo is as intense as it can get, wait till you watch this! You’ll be pleasantly surprised, let me warn you in that.
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