Ian Liao & Xavier Lu
There are many movies about sports, and quite a few about racing, but movies about Formula One (F1) automobile racing are still very few. Recently, we saw a very touching movie, Rush, which we will remember for a long time. This movie, which is directed by Ron Howard, is the true story of the merciless rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl).
Formula One is the most popular type of automobile racing. The “formula” in Formula One means that all the cars in the races must follow the same design rules and limits. The competition between Niki Lauda and James Hunt began when they were both racing Formula 3, where the cars are not as fast, but the competition is just as fierce. Hunt and Lauda bumped each other in one race and that’s how their rivalry began. Later, they joined F1 at the same time. In their first F1 season, Ferrari signed Lauda, but Hunt had to stop racing because his team didn’t have enough money to support him. In 1976, Hunt joined the McLaren team, and the competition between the two drivers continued.
The story of the rivalry between these two drivers came to a peak before a race at Germany’s Nurburgring. Before the race, Lauda tried to convince race organizers to suspend the race because of bad weather, but he failed and had to race in the rain. In this race, Lauda and his team made a technical mistake by choosing the wrong tires, and this mistake caused Lauda to crash. He was severely burned when his car caught fire and was sent to hospital. Incredibly, Lauda recovered from his burns and went back to the racing circuit in only 6 weeks. He won fourth place in his first race after recovering. In the last race of the season in Tokyo, although it rained heavily, the race still went on. After the first lap of the race, Lauda withdrew because he thought it was too dangerous. However, Hunt risked it all and won the world championship.
Hunt and Lauda were both born rich and went against their parents’ will to become race car drivers. However, their personalities are totally different. Lauda was a strict, self-disciplined, and arrogant person. He pursued perfection, and he talked impolitely; therefore, nobody liked to be around him. In contrast, Hunt was casual, brave, and smooth-talking. He did everything by intuition, and everyone liked him. However, his personal life was a mess. Their opposite personalities made their competition even more dramatic.
Niki Lauda and James Hunt were rivals and friends. They were also like mentors who influence each other a lot. Lauda’s decision to join F1 stimulated James to step up from F3 as well. Lauda always went faster than Hunt, but he couldn’t get rid of him. Hunt kept so close to him that Lauda had to push himself to go even further. The reason why Lauda could recover from his burns in only 6 weeks was because Hunt’s inevitable performance pushed him to get back on the track.
This competition between race car drivers gives us a significant lesson, which is that having a rival in your life might force you to improve yourself and break through your limits. As Lauda said in the end, “Stop thinking of it as a curse to have been given an enemy in life. It can be a blessing, too.”
Most of the scenes in Rush take place on the race track. This filming method makes the audience feel like they are really there on the racing circuit in 1976. This movie might be one of the best movies of 2013. Because this movie is all about F1 racing, and the people in the movie talk like professional drivers, we suggest that you learn a bit about F1 before watching it; it will help you understand this movie. Then go the theater and fasten your seatbelts for a really exciting ride!