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  • Writer's pictureSundeep Bhatia

Senna The Movie

It would have been all too easy to just put out a two hour greatest race package . If that were the case then this film would have gone straight to video and would currently be available on the Amazon marketplace. Fortunately it is anything but that.The racing action is present but purely as a means of illustrating the narrative. This is a study of what made Senna tick.It is a human story that will appeal to anyone with a pulse and not just sad anoraks like myself who delight in watching fast cars driving round snd round a circuit on a Sunday afternoon. All aspects of Senna’s character are explored in this masterful documentary. The family man,passionate racer,his complete inability to deal with the politics of Formula one and his duals with his arch nemesis Alan Prost who used those same politics to undermine Senna. His deep faith in God is also explored. The way in which these themes are explored is what makes this documentary unique. There is no new footage .The footage is 100 per cent archive Some of it looks as though it has been copied from old VHS tapes. Yet no stone has been unturned in relation to sources obtained. Old grand prix commentaries might be expected but the commentaries are from all over the world including the Brazilian reaction when Senna won races. Rare footage of driver briefings show the respect the other drivers had for him and the disdain he was held in by the political heads of the sport. Cheesy Brazilian chat shows show Senna chatting up a girlfriend on air His home movies show his closeness to his parents and sister. Interviews reveal that Sennas favourite races were those in carts several years before he first competed in Formula one when money did not come into it and racing was pure. All these disparate sources are tightly edited around a clear narrative that includes more emotion,drama,tension and humour than many a hollywood blockbuster. The last 20 minutes about the race weekend in which Senna lost his life bought a lump to my throat. The use of music is masterful and underlines the dramatic tension. The new material comes in the shape of interviews with those who knew Ayrton Senna. Their words are superimposed over the archive footage The end result is a 100 minute documentary masterpiece. Do not miss it.

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