‘Rush’ stays true to history

DB as Lauda
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“Rush,” released Sept. 20, is a must-see. This epic action-drama film takes us back to the 1970’s rivalry between Formula 1 racecar drivers Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Brühl, and James Hunt, played by Chris Hemsworth. Producer and two-time Academy Award winner Ron Howard was able to bring this rivalry back to life in ways an ordinary documentary would fall short.

Howard begins the film when Lauda and Hunt first meet in a lower division of Formula 3 racing. From the second they meet, you can tell the characters make for a great film.

Hemsworth plays the carefree playboy down to the smallest detail. Hunt is always with different women, drinks and likes to party. However, the film also portrays his love and pure dedication for racing. He is a driver at heart and will inch closer to death in order to become champion. When Hunt is in the drivers seat, nothing can stop him.

Brühl, in contrast, takes on the role of conservative Lauda. On the track, Lauda is unstoppable, but off the track he remains focused. Early on in the film, you realize that Lauda calculates his every move. Lauda will not race if the risk outweighs the reward. He even fights his Formula 1 team as a rookie to make meticulous and formulated changes to his car.

In the end, Brühl and Hemsworth remain true to the era and the rivalry. Lauda will always put his life and family before a victory, while Hunt will put his life and racing on the line before anything else. Both Lauda and Hunt will do whatever it takes to beat each other.

“While you can never be 1,000 percent authentic, it was important that we get it right,” said Howard in a recent phone interview with The Associated Press. Accuracy made the film rich with intense racing and drama.

“I didn’t want those kinds of gaffes. When talking to people who really love motor sports, they’d talk about movies that weren’t documentaries and they’d cite mistakes, the kind of mistakes that would really just take them out of the movie,” he said. Howard was able to take you from the theater back to the 1970’s trackside with Lauda and Hunt. You feel like you are standing in the center of the Grand Prix; it is that believable.

Lauda himself was amazed by the film. In a recent interview with James Kleinmann, a freelance film critic, Lauda was captivated by Howard’s honest approach to the film. “There were no Hollywood changes,” said Lauda. Hemsworth and Brühl “played the characters outstanding.”

Brühl was able to spend time with Lauda in Vienna to learn the ins and outs of Lauda’s real life experiences, even down to Lauda’s Austrian accent. After seeing the film and watching real footage, you could not tell the slightest difference between Lauda and Brühl or Hunt and Hemsworth.

This is a movie with vast character development, friendly competition, love, racing, hardship, determination and so much more. You do not need to be a racing fan to get a thrill out of this film.

Buckle up and hang on.

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