Although it has received a less than stellar turnout at the box office over the last three weeks, Rush was a fantastic watch for a burgeoning gear-head like me, who knew very little about the tumultuous history of Formula 1 racing going in. The film, starring Chris Hemsworth and  Daniel Brühl provides a crash-course (Pun intended. Please forgive me.) on the tense competition which shaped the 1976 Formula 1 season.

For anyone unfamiliar, Rush dramatizes the personal and professional lives of Niki Lauda and James Hunt through the early years of their rivalry, and culminates with the 1977 World Championship race in Fuji, Japan.

While the film is unfortunately light on the technical details of racing, it gives insight into the passion that fuels the sport- a passion which has cost 5o Formula 1 drivers their lives since 1952. Lauda, who acted as technical consultant for the film, nearly lost his life at Nürburgring in the midst of the 1976 season, but returned to the track to continue his quest for the Championship less than two months later despite suffering severe and permanently disfiguring burns.

Overall, director Ron Howard’s trademark attention to detail, Peter Morgan’s fearless writing and Niki Lauda’s intense personal contributions to the film made it almost impossible not to fall in love with Formula 1 immediately (and I promise I’m not saying that because Chris Hemsworth made a gorgeous James Hunt.)  And while I highly doubt that I will ever have the money or the guts to enjoy automobiles on that level, it definitely gave me a new respect for what the love of the drive can be. I hope it does the same for you.

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