Grigory Ryzhakov – Russian Writer

Rush: Are Victory and Fame Worth Risking Your Life?

a still image from the Rush motion picture (2013), starring Chris Hemsworth (as James Hunt) and Daniel Bruhl (as Niki Lauda)

New Ron Howard’s film Rush is about the fast and dangerous world of Formula One. Set in the 1970s Rush focuses on the competition between two racers – a reckless, fun-loving British playboy, James Hunt, and a hard-working yet socially inept Austrian driver, Niki Lauda. The two couldn’t be more different. Hunt is driving because he loves adrenalin and attention of women, while for Lauda – it’s all about making profits out of his natural talents. One thing unites them though – ambition. Both of them want to be the best. The conflict is here from the start – there can only be one winner on the track.

I’ve never been a fan of F1 but the film gripped me from the beginning. I enjoyed the story, the solid performance of the cast, and most of all – the directing. Ron Howard knows how to hold the moviegoer’s attention for over two hours, a skill quite rare these days.

I found a couple of philosophical moments rather sweet, not sure if they ever happened in reality, but they were certainly useful in understanding the main characters.

Howard payed significant attention to high death toll in this sport. Deaths and terrible injures are shown in the film, including Lauda’s crash and severe burning. Maybe F1 is popular for the same reason as the  knight’s tournaments once were. It’s all about bravery, the jubilant human spirit laughing in the face of death. Only with Lauda, his accident changed him, he became more careful and started considering his wife’s feelings. The scene he decided to pull out of a dangerous race, risking to lose his racing crown, is the moment of him becoming mature.

Is it worth risking your life just to win a game? If life is a game, then a game could be someone’s life, a reason to live.

Hunt died at the age of forty five of a heart attack. Maybe his death was caused by his lifestyle full of debauchery and sport-related stress. But, however short his life was, he enjoyed it, because he lived the way he wanted it. Fearlessly.

Lauda and Hunt couldn’t have been more different and this made their competition so memorable. There’s not one right way to live. But there is yours.


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