Rush: Niki Lauda, James Hunt and my need for reality

Need for something true, real and tangible. Need for history.
After a not-so-masked skepticism towards the new film of the great Ron Howard, I can affirm with certainty that it left me higly satisfied.

120 minutes flat during which the movie never goes downhill. A revered director (but still I cannot forgive him for the Angels and Demons mess), two good actors – the pair Brühl-Hemsworth – and a tragic but engaging story, perhaps characterized off and on too negatively. Let’s not forget the many twists, at least for the few people who, like me, had never heard the names of Niki Lauda and James Hunt before taking their seats.
Let’s try for a moment to think about those ’70s in which the events are set.

Formula 1 wasn’t yet – I dare say unfortunately – a pile of countless rules, power and speed limiters and disqualifications, but races almost raced to death in which the pilots risked their lives much more than nowadays, when  – I think – we don’t even get near that 20% referred to by Lauda (Daniel Brühl) more than once.
In such a context we have to set the tireless battle to the podium’s first place between the two extraordinary pilots, battle which has its consequence in Niki Lauda’s tragic accident, on August 1st, 1976 at Nürburgring, the very dangerous circuit that hosted the German Grand Prix: for more than a minute, Lauda was trapped in his single-seat’s cockpit by fire, which left him seriously disfigured and in life danger for another four days.
Someone could say that they are just a bunch of commonplaces (two enemies-friends, their struggle for supremacy), but, in my opinion, they are greatly filmed.
I don’t rule out that my extremely positive judgement comes from another important factor: a renewed need for reality, truth and history.
Among my friends I am playfully known as the typical million dollar blockbuster lover, along the lines of as-long-as-it-has-plenty-of-special-effects. As Transformers, to clarify.
But, for one night, I’ve just got the kick out of re-experiencing the wonderful sensation of not wasting two hours of my life only for diversion, but also – and above all – to enrich my knowledge of a period of history that otherwise would have remained in the dark for me, not being an enthusiastic F1 fan.

Names, dates, encounters, photos, even tragedies: everything’s true. Maybe slightly fictionalized, dramatized or heightened, but everything’s true anyway.

By Anefo / Croes, R.C. / neg. stroken, 1945-1989,, item number 928-0061 [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl (], via Wikimedia Commons
Niki Lauda (second – Ferrari), James Hunt (winner – Hesketh) and Clay Regazzoni (third – Ferrari)
on the podium of the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix.

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