Drivers’ Cinema: Senna (2010)
Most people have probably already seen Senna (2010), directed by Asif Kapadia, but I finally got around to watching it for the first time last week, and it completely exceeded my expectations. Watching this film is like visiting Paris for the first time: you realize that it really is as great as everyone says, and afterward, you want to convince everyone you know that they need to experience it too.
The film carries the audience through the high and low points of Ayrton Senna’s remarkable career, from his position with McClaren to his troubling time with William-Renault. In the film, Senna is portrayed as a driver who refused to become involved with the politics of the sport. He was focused and determined to win races regardless of circumstance.
Senna is loaded with original footage that demonstrates Senna’s aggressive driving technique. These parts of the film are incredible to watch, because Senna takes F1 driving to another level. The on-board camera captures outrageous speeds through tight chicanes into dead straights. The film also provides a glimpse into the evolution of the F1 car—in a short span of time the cars became more powerful and competitive, and aesthetically, the shape and frame of the cars were altered dramatically to provide more down force and to improve drivers safety.
The movie places the audience in Ayrton Senna’s head so that we understand that Senna is for the sport. I connected with Senna as he won and lost. The movie covers meaningful moments of Senna’s life with heart and passion, and I really enjoyed the omniscient voiceovers that I heard throughout the movie throughout, including the commentary by some of the most influential people in Senna’s life, because they helped me get to know Senna even more.
After experiencing this film (I can’t say “watching this film”, because it became much more than that), I have nothing but more respect for the world of Formula One.