“There’s only one way to describe Ayrton Senna’s racing style. And it’s fast.”
I was apparently old enough when Senna’s last race took place in San Marino in 1994 because when I see this film, I could recognize Alain Prost right away, without any cue card. But that is not the point I’m trying to make. My point being, doesn’t matter how old one is, if a claim was made about being a fan to this particular sport, not knowing about Ayrton Senna is practically a punishable sin.
This film is a documentary of Ayrton Senna during his fast ride and probably too fast of demise on a prestigious Formula One track. The bigger portion of this film is probably, and rightly so, attributed to his fierce, and sometimes bitter rivalry to Alain Prost although obviously, even this interesting arc would pale in comparison when Senna’s vehicle, instead of taking a left turn, slammed the concrete wall at the speed of 125 km per hour.
They say, only the good die young. But what really constitutes as “good” anyways? Senna’s life was clearly snuff out of him when he’s in his prime and only God knows what would happened had he stayed to race for another five or even ten years. On top of that, surely the claim that he’s one of the best, if not the best racer in Formula One history is not without evidence. The film, however, put him on a center stage and thus, given him the protagonist treatment. On another filmmaker, the film could be easily told from his rival point of view, titled “Prost,” and put Senna in a less heroic stance than he was in this film. But with all due respect, who would want to do that?
The fact remains. To date, he was the last Formula One driver to die behind the steering wheels and that would put a fond memory to anyone that ever got to know him even to his rival whose rivalry was suggested in this film, to be a fierce and a bitter one. Further, many would agrees and could easily attest that the tragedy was a milestone that changes the Formula One, both as a sport and an entertainment business, into one that we all know right now.
Overall, the film is well executed. Senna’s first entry into Formula One, from his memorable debut, raise to fame, and eventually, the accident that claimed his life, was told in a fairly straightforward manner. Although his character’s depiction tend to be a bit one dimensional, and oft times, enticing me to visit a boredom valley, the moments of his death was one climax scene worthy of waiting. My eyes was glued to the screen, as my heart pounds and finally sank as the infamous scene was re-enacted on the screen.
By any means, “Senna” may not be a perfect movie. But fan of documentary film, and especially, fan of the Formula One sport should at least give this film a chance.