Rush: An Exhilarating Masterpiece

Direct quote from my friend sitting next to me, and what I felt was a pretty accurate description of how well Howard has directed this film. No matter how much I did not know about racing, this film made me care a hell lot about the characters. I had high hopes though... and the film did not disappoint.

Rush details the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt, a playboy, womanizer, and Niki Lauda, a more methodical man, during the 1976 season. From the opening sequence - the sound of the cars, the visual shots from the engines, the drivers, the spectators - I was transfixed. And it only got better. The racing scenes were the most intense, the most gripping - it had everyone holding tight onto their seats, but without the superb direction of Howard, the ridiculously terrific visuals and the driving score by Zimmer, Rush would not be what it is. I cannot stress how thrilling the experience of watching it on the big screen, the loud roars of the motors, to the camera shots which make you feel like you're experiencing it all. The zooms from within the car, of the mechanics within the vehicles, within the helmets of the drivers ... this combination was what made it all so exciting, yet made you understand the amount of risk that the racers were taking. The cinematography is just impressively good. It was that alone that brought out such a simple plot to the screen. For such a straightforward plot, you would expect that there wouldn't be much to look forward to (predictability occurs too often ... right?) - but Rush is able to continually force you to keep your head up, because you just don't know what's going to happen. Formula One racing is a risk, and this is why the film works so damn well.

Both Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl pull off incredible performances, the best of both of their careers - and their chemistry is terrific. What I love is that there is no 'villain' or 'hero' here, they both equally have faults and strengths - and this is vibrantly shown through the screenplay and the direction by Ron Howard. The backstories behind both men are maybe equally as interesting as the racing scenes, and provide the viewer with a good understanding of the characters of both men as individuals, and as rivals. Hans Zimmer's score is as always, fantastic, but I did have a listen to the score beforehand - and wasn't that immediately overwhelmed at it. It was only when I sat in the cinema, with the sound of the motors and Formula One cars, that I felt the thrilling yet subtleness of the score. It is ever most present in the scenes where you find yourself not breathing because it is simply so intense - and adds a chilling dynamic to the whole film.

Rush pours heart, sweat and soul into an exhilarating and brilliant racing film. One of the best of the year, and definitely not one to be missed.

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