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- RUSH -

Until a couple of weeks before the movie went out, my hype for this movie was up to eleven. But in the last few days, first the release of the official trailer and then some scenes I saw on a TV special, got down this hype quite a lot: there was something about the movie editing (and, above all, about the music chosen for the trailer) that was quite unconvincing for me... I got the sensation that even this Rush was going to be the usual, sad, crappy racing movie, something like Driven or Days of Thunder.
But I decided to see Rush in a good cinema anyway, even if I already knew all the historical facts in detail (if you didn't know, I'm a car racing enthusiast), even with that "something unconvincing" from the trailer. So I watched the movie. Thank God I did.
Ron Howard made a great job: his directing is excellent, and with his astonishing editing he even manages to compensate for the – luckily very few – script naiveties the movie has. The racing scenes that gave me doubts are actually awesome, among the most captivating things I've ever seen in a cinema.
Rush starts with a fast pace, and keeps it for its entire length without being dazzling: it's two hours long, but seems shorter. Everything works perfectly, because Lauda and Hunt are two protagonists that battle each other for the light spot on the scene, but without pushing the rival out: just like in a real duel on a race track, in Rush these two main characters overtake each other several times, they follow each other trail, they fight side by side along every bend.
All this movie, all this race metaphor, it's a perfect balance between the Austrian "human computer" and the British "shunt": at the beginning they're the exact opposite of the other one, constantly in a clash; but their stories make them steadily closer and closer each other (not in a prosaic way, this is NOT a buddy movie), up to the point when their destinies really meet and cross in that epic final race, under the rainy Mount Fuji.
And in the movie ending, when Niki and James – with their differences if possible even accentuated – meet one last time, you could even cry...
Yes, of course the story is a a bit novelized (there are a couple of made-up scenes, and the last race is little bit different from what actually happened) and the characters of Lauda and Hunt are slightly exaggerated, but that's all functional to telling this real story, all functional to show these crucial moments of the lives of those two real Formula One myths.
You HAVE TO SEE RUSH. You have, I really mean it. If you are car racing enthusiasts, Rush is going to be a fest for your eyes and for your soul (and, if you'll see the movie in a cinema with a good sound, also for your stomach), and even if you already know what happened and how all eventually ended, the passionate and fresh look Ron Howard gave to this story will show you Lauda and Hunt under a new perspective. Because Rush is a movie about Lauda and Hunt and about their clash, but is also (and perhaps mainly) a movie about the seventies, about what really matters in our lives (but without any easy, definitive answer)... and about car racing: the real car racing, without funny spoilers, neon lights, NOS, without computers, annoying sponsorships, made-up smiles and electronic gearboxes.
If you have friends or a girlfriend/wife who can't be bothered by car racing, get them to the cinema with you anyway. Not just because Rush is a very good movie whether Formula One or not, but because its storytelling is so captivating that if someone actually doesn't know what happened in that 1976 F1 World Championship... well, it's even better.
And when the movie will eventually end and your – initially skeptical – girlfriend will look at you, and being amazed and a bit moved will ask you "but did all this happen for real?", you will smile and answer her "yes, it did".
And from that moment on, you are going to know that she understands a bit of why you like so much to look at a bunch of funny, noisy cars, going along a tarmac ribbon every sunday.

© Matteo Bacchin