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Review: Senna

Posted on 06 October 2011 by Adam Kaslikowski

Senna

I’m kind of in a funk right now. I’ve just walked out of the theater, and I have been deeply humbled; not only by the film, but also by Ayrton Senna himself. The man was a legend and king of F1, and a prince in Brazil. He was a ruthless competitor and a devoted humanitarian. He feuded with teammates and F1 officials but progressed the sport to the prominence it now enjoys. Clearly the man was complex, but what of the movie? Keep reading to find out…

This movie is worth paying for just to see F1 racing on the big screen and hear those marvelous engines in surround sound. I don’t mind admitting to you that at one point in a racing clip I starting giggling. The film itself is equal parts backstage pass and time machine. Although the entire movie is made up of past footage, it looks quite good and reminds some of us (that would be old people) of a time when TV was full of static and you had to squint through distorted picture to figure out what was going on. The effect of this footage is to transport you back to a great time in F1 racing when there was some real drama both on the track and off. You get a great sense of what goes on behind the scenes and the pressures drivers have to put up with during the season.

Many of you will have seen the tribute film to Senna made by Top Gear. If you haven’t, here it is:

Some of the pieces of that clip are better put together than the full film, but I’m betting Top Gear has a bigger budget per episode than the whole movie did. The Top Gear piece is even better after seening the film, and I would recommend people watch the movie first then watch the clip. The movie is a great overview of what made Senna special, the Top Gear tribute is a concentrate of his magic.

As I said, the film is humbling. You get to follow a man who made enemies but never lost his generous touch. Many of those same enemies contributed in the film, were friendly with Senna once no longer pitted against him, and contributed to his charity organization. He is a man who touched many lives, and generally for the better. He never bragged, never blamed others, and was always generous. This is no mere racing movie, this is a movie about the best of us. Verdict: Go see it.

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