Sunday, October 06, 2013

Believe the Hype!

Last night, my Mum and I went to see the much-hyped film Rush, despite it not being our usual genre at all.  My Mum in particular is quite the film buff and definitely prefers arty-farty films. The fact that Peter Morgan wrote the screenplay was a kind of guarantee for quality, though. Neither of us has ever watched a Formula One race, even though we both think of it as the "soundtrack" of Sundays at my grandparents'. In my teens and twens, whenever we were over at my maternal grandparents' for Sunday lunch during F1 season, my granny would scold granddad for being anti-social by devoting 99% of his attention to the race. My Dad, and later also Mr. TD, would occasionally join him and us women would try to hold a conversation over the noise of squealing tires and overexcited running commentary of Heinz Prüller. A 20th century equivalent to gentlemen retiring into the cigar room while the women do household chores or crochet...
Be that as it may, the film's central character, Niki Lauda, is perhaps THE national hero for Austrians, affectionately called "Niki Nazionale" by the media, despite, or arguably because of, his "I don't give a shit" attitude. Every Austrian knowns him even if they were born well after his active career. In fact, I am too young to remember that he ever did NOT have scars and a disfigured right ear, or walked around without a red baseball cap. I have to admit that I did not even know who James Hunt was, nor the rivalry that is the plot of this film.
If you live in Austria, there's no escaping this film and both Niki Lauda and Daniel Brühl, who plays his part in the film are currently in all media to the point of OD. I was particularly curious how Brühl would have mastered Lauda's Viennese accent as in my experience Germans are horribly, embarrassingly BAD at any attempts of sounding like Austrians. They just put on what they think is a Bavarian accent and assume that we speak like that as well. Nope, we don't and there's no such thing as one Austrian accent. Well, Brühl really did pretty well (edit: I'm referring to his German, was less impressed by his English when I saw the trailers) and sounded almost eerily authentic and the whole film was so good and well-paced I was disappointed when the closing credits rolled. Alexandra Maria Lara, on whom I have had a major girl crush for years, plays Niki's first wife Marlene and their first car-ride and hitch-hiking experience is in fact my favourite scene of the film. Speaking of crushes, my Mum was quite smitten by James Hunt Chris Hemsworth...
So if you are on the fence whether to go see this film because it's not your kettle of fish, this lover of "depressing" French films and the like gives it a big (two) thumbs up. 


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