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Great, great film.
Think my bro has it on DVD, maybe I'll borrow it
It now holds sad memories. Sadder than his death to me.
Can't believe it's on so late though. Ends at half 12 and I need to be up at 6 so might only make the first half...
Excellent archive footage throughout, and the cockpit view of his final lap before his crash at Imola is deeply chilling.
Not sure exactly when I got into F1 but must have been around then. Weirdly I remember Gerhard Berger, Mansell, Schumacher, Johnny Herbert etc racing more than I do Senna. The whole Imola weekend was horrible though and like something from a bad dream.
Some of that in car footage of his early racing was amazing. Looks so on (and over the limit). Lapping everyone up to 2nd? All those titles given his treatment? First ever Monaco result? Amazing...
and the way it was foreshadowed by Ratzenberger's death, and how much footage there was of Senna in the build up. to think that was real life, and you couldn't write a more chilling fictional plot.
But BBC 4 had a great documentary about Hunt & Lauda on recently. That was equally great. Maybe better.
...but you do have to take it with a little pinch of salt re: the over-egging of his rivalry with Prost. It canonises Senna and demonises Prost which, the more I think about it, the more it sits very uncomfortably. Sure they had an intense rivalry, but Prost comes out of the film looking like a buffoon complicit in a twisted system which is grossly unfair. Both great racers - both great men. Really did Prost an unfair disservice.
Other than that, it's pretty flawless.
I did also think that it went downhill albeit slightly after prost and senna were no longer team mates.
but one of the things I remember vividly from it was that Prost was a pallbearer at Senna's funeral, so I didn't come away thinking they hated each other or that Prost was a monster.
Have you seen Rush? In setting up the Hunt/Lauda antagonism, it completely ignores the fact that they spent a while as flatmates and were generally considered to be pretty good mates.
but when I went off and read more about it afterwards it did spoil it slightly.
though it does also mention that their rivalry softened eventually, and of course at the end you see Prost at the funeral etc. I think you have to accept you won't get 100% objectivity in a documentary like this.
The film highlights their reconciliation at the end but positive representations of Prost in Senna are very rare which is unobjective to the point of lunacy. Prost's possibly the most thoughtful and elegant driver of all time - that doesn't really come across when the footage used to build his character is him flirting with Selina Scott etc. But, as kiyonemakibi points out - you're not going to get pure objectivity in a documentary. It has a habit of getting in the way of a good story...
And no I haven't seen Rush. I've heard it's quite good but I was surprised when I heard it was being made because I don't remember Lauda and Hunt having a particular 'rivalry' as such. The differences in their characters are quite interesting I'll admit but... a rivalry is pushing it.
Also making a film like this about James Hunt risks making him a more important figure in the history of F1 than he deserves to be. He was a flamboyant and talented racer, sure, but he was only world champion through luck.
and I don't think it over eggs Hunt's importance - it paints him as a brief, shining ego that people loved, but at the end (SPOILERS!!11!) it makes clear that he couldn't do it again.
But it was a very edited version of history to make a strong story, for one thing it shows Hunt shagging around while Lauda meets one woman and deeply loves her (while struggling to connect with her), but Lauda has had illegitimate children and affairs so is nothing like the monk he's shown as. Bruhl is excellent though.
I mean it's a Ron Howard film so it's going to have a simplified narrative for popular consumption. And that's not a criticism - I really like Ron Howard! But, yeah, if I see it I'll accept a bit of poetic licence (although your description of it sounds like it's a reasonable even-handed treatment).
is that while it's pretty much done solely with documentary footage, it deliberately wasn't put together as a documentary - it was essentially scripted to put Senna in the traditional hero's role and Prost as the villan. Think of it as a "based on a true story" movie that just happens to be told through the medium of archive footage rather than a documentary in the traditional sense.
It's as guilty of cannonising Senna at times as it is of being unfair to Prost, but the narrative wouldn't work if it was objective in the footage shown.
Although the Balestre villainry was pretty straightly played. Hard not to be.
Although for the Suzuka incident to be presented without any negative comment on Senna was quite irresponsible, it has to be said.
All in though I think it's a strength of Senna that even with known flaws regarding its tone and balance that it's still a remarkable and moving piece of work.
what with the reckless side of his racing style written off from his perspective as the necessary risk of a true racing driver, I had no knowledge of the man before this, and I was really taken aback by how intelligent he was, how conscientious and articulate and passionate *and* grounded.
beyond his talent as a driver, that's what I truly admire in people.