August 29, 2011
If you're fortunate enough to have SENNA, the documentary about Formula 1 great Ayrton Senna, already playing in your area. Go see it. Now. Or if you're an at-home movie person, you need to find it as soon as it's on Netflix.
Yes, it's that good. Simply put, it's a must-see for all racing fans, even if you don't know the slightest thing about Formula 1.
(We got our hands on an advance copy, and even though it's a documentary, due to possible spoilers, the rest of this post is after the jump.)
Had he not been killed in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, Senna, not Michael Schmacher, may be the driver with the most Formula 1 titles in history.
And the documentary focuses on Senna's life as a driver -- a career that was consumed with being the best on the track at all times. It also focuses on his rivalry with teammate (for a time) Alain Prost, and how it turned from friendly to bitter as soon as the two realized that if one was to be the best, that mean beating the other.
We don't learn much about Senna's life off the track, and while that's the film's shortcoming, the archival footage alone more than makes up for it. All of the footage is from past F1 races, interviews and other coverage, including numerous video from an on-board camera on Senna's car. All of the interviews for the movie are voiceovers and accompany the film incredibly.
And while the end of the movie -- and Senna's career -- is obviously widely known and expected, it does a great job of building to that final moment. For perhaps the first time in his career, Senna was unsure of himself. (Another driver was killed during practice at a different point in the track before the race that Senna perished in.)
SENNA is a riveting ride with incredible footage and revealing race moments. It's well worth it.
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