James Hunt: “I have a theory why women like racing drivers… It’s not because they respect what we do, driving round and round in circles. Mostly they think that’s pathetic and they’re probably right. It’s our closeness to death. You see the closer you are to death the more alive you feel, the more alive you are. They can see that in you they feel that in you. My name is James Hunt. My father is a stock broker, my sister is a barrister, and my brother is an accountant, and I… well I do this. It’s a wonderful way to live, it’s the only way to drive, as if each day is your last.”
Plot: Set against the sexy, glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s, the film is based on the true story of a great sporting rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt (Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Bruhl). The story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error: if you make a mistake, you die. (IMDb)
Sound track: 7/10
Time run: 123 minutes: 8/10
Stance within genre: 8.5/10
Book adaption/Originality: 8/10
=80/100 = 8/10
This was a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. The movie was shot in a time when Formula 1 was at its height, the racers were celebrities and treated like kings. It thrilled me that the story was based on a real story. I started out rooting more for James Hunt than NikiLauda. James (Chris Hemsworth) is charming and confident in everything about his life, while Niki (Daniel Bruhl) is rude to the point and austere. Then everything changes and it becomes clear Niki is the true star, the hard worker and a genius in a field. I for one did not think he spoke the truth when he said he isn’t doing it for the love of driving, but for the money of it. One does not go into battle six weeks after burning your face off if you don’t have a passion for what you do, dear sir. I rooted for Niki at the end and had goosebumps by his relentless determination and guts. I respected him for pulling off during the Japanese Grand Prix – it is something I would have done as well since it was clearly so dangerous to be on that track.
I thought the casting was excellent as well. Hemsworth and Bruhl resemble Hunt and Lauda enough to make you look twice. As for the actors, they came of arrogant and austere respectively, which seems accurate. It is nice seeing Chris Hemsworth in something other than a superhero movie. I haven’t seen Bruhl in anything else, but he gave a stunning, convincing performance. I loved the scene where he is driving after he was picked up from the road and he’scruising and then just lets the car rip for Marlene and those two idiots are cheering in the back.
The racing scenes are well done and entertaining, and not overwhelming – they take place frequently because it is a racing movie but it does not harp incessantly on the racing to become boring. The costumes were expertly created to resemble the look of the 1970s with even the supporting actors and actresses looking exactly how they were supposed to look.
Overall, I liked the tone of the movie. It was shot expertly to reveal the glamour of Formula One in its golden age, I enjoyed the characters and thought everything was brought together beautifully.