It is no secret around our office that I am not the biggest Formula One fan, and by my own admission it’s because I do not know enough about the sport these days. I used to watch it when I was younger but for various reasons (cough – Schumacher domination) I lost interest…it had nothing to do with a break-up. So when Hannes marched us all into a dark room to watch the Senna movie I can’t say I was overly excited. But it meant an afternoon away from our desks so I didn’t complain.
Let me just tell you, if you have lost faith in Formula One, have never really been a fan, or just need a reminder as to why it is one of the greatest sports on earth, then watch Senna. I was captivated from beginning to end. Not only because I have a passion for documentaries, but because I, ashamedly, didn’t know Ayrton Senna’s full story…nor did I know Alain Prost’s for that matter.
It is by no means the best documentary ever made and as a few members of the CAR team pointed out the quality and editing was not that great. You also have to put up with an American journalist who has clearly inhaled one too many fumes down in the pits over his career…you will see what I mean. They really could have done without the circus act that is this guy… John Bisignano.
I have to agree with a few of my colleagues that there is not enough racing footage and way too many long-winded interviews (forcing you to read reams of sub-titles). There are also a few concerns about the movie being a bit biased. As fellow journalist Kyle said, “I’m sure he was as saintly off the racetrack as he is portrayed to have been, but there was a darker competitive nature to him that could have been taken advantage of.”
Either way, I felt that the movie achieved what it set out to do…and that was to tell the story of one of the greatest Formula One drivers of our time. It showcased his physical as well as his spiritual journey toward being the best and it certainly captured the mythical status Senna has now attained. Even though I did not know enough about Senna, I found myself feeling cheated in the fact that I never got to see what his career would have become. If you have seen the Alan Gray advert with James Dean then you will understand what I mean.
For me, if a movie can have a significant effect on your emotions and not just during the film, but afterwards too, then it has been a success. The Senna movie did that for me – Hannes so perfectly termed it “an emotional rollercoaster”. You should see this movie, if only for that feeling that makes you want to be a Formula One driver…believe me, my Polo has never been as much fun!
PS. Sadly Senna will not make the big-screen cinema circuit in South Africa, but it’s already available on BlueRay from Amazon. It is most definitely worth adding to any collection. Have a look at the trailer below…