Senna – review

You don't need to know, or care, about motor racing to enjoy Senna. In sports-cinema terms, it's closer to something like Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno's Zidane than recent releases like TT3D or From the Ashes: an inventively crafted portrait of an exceptional individual. Yes, we're taken chronologically through the Brazilian driver's stellar track career, with team-mate Alain Prost as his Dick Dastardly-like arch-rival. But beneath the helmet, Ayrton Senna was a fascinating, contradictory mix of religious faith, boyish innocence, global celebrity and reckless determination; you couldn't have made a film like this about Nigel Mansell. The film's masterstroke is its exclusive use of archive footage, with no visible talking heads or modern-day interruptions. With so much recorded footage of Formula One available, it has been possible to fashion Senna's story as a live action drama rather than a posthumous documentary; we're not so much hearing what happened in the past as seeing it happen before our eyes. The immediacy of the approach is exhilarating and, as we approach the inevitably tragic ending, undeniably emotional. The Guardian

Note: The official United States release date for SENNA is now set for August 12th

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