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25 September 2013 @ 10:33 pm
Picoreview: Rush  

Picoreview: Rush: does what it says on the tin.

Actually, it does more than that. It’s a very, very good movie, and this from someone who hasn’t got two sh…akes…to give when it comes to car racing.

Chris Hemsworth plays more or less to type as a big, likeable jackass; Daniel Brühl, whom I haven’t seen before and therefore couldn’t be playing to type, was not especially likeable but wasn’t supposed to be, either. If there was a flaw, it was that I didn’t feel the instant and profound antagonism between the two characters strongly enough, although I think the film tried to sell it. I just didn’t feel it strongly enough. They were too much two sides of a coin, I think; from the outsider’s viewpoint, their similarities bound them together so strongly that all I could see was the connection, not the hatred. (Rivalry, yes, absolutely: that was visible in spades, but there’s supposed to be hatred in there too, and I just didn’t feel it.)

But: the rivalry was extremely well sold, and their relationships with each other and the women (particularly) in their lives was very well done. It’s the opposite of a buddy film, and I really *enjoyed* their interactions and their different approaches to, well, everything.

Furthermore, I thought I knew where the movie ended. It turned out I more knew where it middled, which meant the last third or so was pretty white-knuckled. (So, actually, was the bit I knew about.) The filmography for the races is terrific, the costuming is good, the *lighting* is good: filters or whatever, but much of it carries a 1970s film look to it, which I appreciated.

In fact, there were moments where the 1970s of it was almost disconcerting: during one of the races, there’s a copse of trees in the way of the track view, and there’s a breathless moment where the commentators can’t see and can’t report, which in today’s multi-media-many-cameras-etc world is pretty well inconceivable. Kind of a surprising reminder, like.

Anyway, the reviews are in general very good and there’s a reason for that: it’s a good movie. Even if you don’t give a damn about car racing, it’s well worth going to see.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
 
kitmizkit on September 26th, 2013 05:34 am (UTC)
That makes *much* more sense in terms of the relationship. Even on film where they're trying to play up the differences, they just seem too much alike for me to quite believe the loathing. That's really good to know, actually, not because of the film but because it makes me, er, happier for both of them.

I'll have to look at the YouTube footage to see if it's the same. I did think, watching the film, that they'd done a stunning job of the fireball there, so maybe that's because it was real.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on September 26th, 2013 01:16 pm (UTC)
Drivers of that era did tend to be friends off the track. When you look at the casualty rate in that era (I've seen a very credible estimate of 10% per annum), you know that the people you race are your comrades in a very real way, even though you're competing against them.

To illustrate: my father was a professional racer from about '58 to '62, retiring when my twin sisters were born. At the time, so many people died or were seriously injured each year that if someone just wasn't around any more, people assumed the worst. Then in '77 he and I volunteered for the team to help rebuild the catch fences at the Silverstone GP (the first race Hunt won after becoming world champion as it happens - but it was also local to us, sufficiently so that we could hear it from home). The guy nominally in charge was Jim Russell who ran a racing school at the circuit. When he saw my father, there was a moment of double take, before the recognition hit him.

"Paddy? I thought you died at Le Mans in '62!"

(My father had raced as 'Paddy Allan', his first two names, to make life easier for commentators who'd never get our surname correct anyway.)

Jim hadn't heard that my father was killed, but my father had just stopped racing, and he'd not been seen hobbling around near the pits on subsequent races, so what else could be the reason?

Lunatics, the whole lot of them.

It's a real shame that the film so misrepresents the real relationship between Hunt and Lauda.
kitmizkit on September 26th, 2013 01:44 pm (UTC)
You have a very exciting family. :)

See, the thing is I'm not sure it exactly *does* misrepresent it, because to me there was a much more active sense of underlying respect, if not precisely friendship, to what degree of sniping we see. I mean, they start out thinking the other is an asshole, which happens to be true in both cases, but I never felt like it was *hatred*, which is what we're told in so many words, repeatedly, that they did. I think the actors may have carried off the sense of the real relationship more successfully than the sales pitch of the movie implied.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on September 26th, 2013 03:16 pm (UTC)
You have a very exciting family

My mother was the opposite of you - she loved motor racing and that's why she hooked up with my father. And it was her car that he used to race.

It was a racing tuned Jaguar - she had the money. When I was a newborn coming home from the hospital that I was born in, she was impatient to get home. So she overtook this police car that was getting in the way - poor police, they were going flat out, but their car was a bit underpowered. A little later, she overtook another car going flat out, and proceeded on home. There were no speed limits on open British roads in those days (which is why the relevant sign is just a diagonal strike-out rather than listing a speed, even to this day), so it wasn't a problem.

When my father got home in his car, he had to tell her she'd overtaken a police chase.

That was the first time I was ever in a car - I was in the carrycot on the back seat.

Many years after she split with my father, she ended up living in Silverstone village.

I'm not sure it exactly *does* misrepresent it

Ah, I've not seen it, and I'm going on the reports. It wouldn't be the first time that actors researching their roles come to a truer place than the writers had left them.

Edited at 2013-09-26 03:31 pm (UTC)