The battle between the austere asshole Niki Lauda and the decadent asshole James Hunt for supremacy in Formula 1 is the focus of Ron Howard’s new movie ‘Rush’
Understandably our sympathies are with neither as they are ‘assholes’ but on balance we would rather be James Hunt as he gets a mind-bending amount of tail throughout the film. Supermodels and nurses, socialites and party girls fall at his feet and into his bed, while poor old Niki Lauda spends his nights remodeling his race cars so they will gain a valuable extra second a lap.
No surprises to learn that it was Lauda that become a multiple world champion or that Hunt’s life of excess lead to his demise at just 45.
As you would expect in a film about racecars the scenes on the track are suitably epic but it’s the relationship between the two wildly different personalities of Hunt and Lauda that are at the heart of the film.
Howard invites us to consider whose life philosophy is right. Is a well-lived life one that sacrifices everything for the prize? Or the one that tries to drain every drop of pleasure out of existence even at the expense of abusing our talents?
Deeper than this we understand that for men who live so close to death (in the seventies, 2 out of every 24 drivers died each season) in their pursuit of the grand prize a balanced view of life is impossible.