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Senna
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Senna More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

An epic ride with an interesting man

10/10
Author: just_ali515-707-772839 from Australia
30 June 2011

I'm not a F1 fan but this documentary captured me emotionally. It was an awesome experience.

What makes the film so great is that its more than about racing, its about Ayrton Senna and his intensity and drive. His courage is truly admirable and his skill as is evident from the footage is almost mythical.

We follow Senna through his life very closely. Everything in the documentary is focused on Senna. There's very little cuts to show interviewees talking, mostly its just their voice in the background and the camera will be showing footage of Senna or from Senna's perspectives. Its makes for a very engrossing movie, you feel like you are living through Senna's life, bit by bit, and understanding his troubles, his competition, his interest, his dreams and his happiness.

In the start of the film, we see the competition between Senna and another great driver Prost, and this is captured magnificently.

But as the film progresses, the thing that makes this film so great is that we begin to realise that the real obstacle, the real competitor, that these young men faced were the cars and the race itself. Despite knowing the dangers involved, the drivers still race and we admire them for this.

My heart was beating loudly in the final sequences of the film (you'll know what I mean). The onboard cockpit views shows the legendary speed with which Senna tackled the road. Its truly amazing.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Life At The Limit

7/10
Author: ShootingShark from Dundee, Scotland
23 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A documentary about Brazilian Formula One motor racing triple world champion Ayrton Senna Da Silva, cited by many as the greatest driver of all time, who died tragically aged thirty-four in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in 1994.

I'm a Formula One fan, and while there have been many truly outstanding drivers in this incredible sport it is no exaggeration to say that perhaps none have been as talented, fast, intense, intelligent and enigmatic as the great Ayrton Senna. This outstanding film gives an insightful window into his world, wisely choosing to use only authentic footage from his life and career combined with some voice-over work, but no talking heads or cutaways to distract us from the drama. With a symphonic score, it somehow plays more like a drama than a documentary, albeit one populated with real people and events, as we see Senna's struggle for recognition, his defining moments, his often bitter rivalry with the brilliant French driver Prost (whose style was the polar opposite), his frequent abuse by the authorities who didn't like him, and the terrible events at Imola, which also claimed the life of Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger. That Senna was an incredible racer is in no doubt, but he was also an extraordinary personality; he was a forthright ambassador for his country and helped enormously with its social problems, he was a deeply religious and philosophical man, and he seemed to be constantly chasing perfection in everything he did. Comparing anyone to Christ is fairly ridiculous, but Senna is one of the few where the analogy is legitimate - unlike almost all sporting heroes who strive for personal glory, it has always seemed to me Senna was carrying the weight and expectations of others; his fans, his country, his team, the money men. It's as if we were all saying, come on Senna, show us the magic, push it further and faster than anyone else dares. Which he did, and which never backed down from until he paid the ultimate price, to our irrevocable loss. His search was for a kind of spiritual truth in speed, and his accomplishments speak for themselves. He was simply an extraordinary man. A great film by Kapadia, the director of The Warrior, The Return and Far North, produced by Working Title and distributed by Universal Pictures.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Sensational...

9/10
Author: Starrman21 from United States
29 December 2012

You don't have to be a fan of auto racing to appreciate and enjoy the film "Senna". From the start of the film to it's historical tragic ending...you are pulled into the world of open wheel racing and the life of legendary Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna.

Some people are born to do one thing and in Ayrton Senna's life he chased the dream of being the best driver of the world, welcomed the controversy and challenges that comes and welcomed the burden and responsibility with being as important to his country as anyone had ever been in Brazil's history.

Through it all, you are pulled towards the energy and confidence Senna exuded as a race car driver, you feel his passion, at times you bristle at his brash demeanor towards his racing peers but you understand and marvel at Senna the whole time. He made every car he drove better, he made every team better whom he drove for and ultimately he became the driver that everyone else wished they could be.

A perspective that this film also shows is the razor edge nature of the drivers respecting the sport and the ever changing political climate that seems to be a constant shadow of Formula One racing. No driver was ever in control, no team owner was going to get an edge.

In Senna's case, it was apparent that his success would always be envied by those who had more...yet he was the driver that everyone wanted at any price...his excellence as a driver was always on display...the glamor of being the best ever never seemed to phase him.

In the end, the film humanizes Senna to the audience and to himself...you see his mortality on trial, he knew he loved racing, he knew he could win with any car on any track under any conditions and ultimately he knew it could all go away within seconds...

Senna's impact to his sport will forever be footnoted. His impact to the people of Brazil will be timeless...Ayrton Senna was Brazil's first son.

This film is a masterpiece...it's human, heartwarming, touching, poignant and tragic...

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Blown Away

9/10
Author: paulespie from Liverpool, England
13 August 2011

What a movie! What a driver! What a sad sad ending! I never truly appreciated Senna the way I should have done. In those days I was in the Mansell camp wishing that Senna would stop being so hard to beat and that he and Prost would keep knocking one another out of races. Saying that I also supported Borg when McEnroe was spouting his mouth off in the early 80s and now I appreciate what he did for the game! Obviously with documentaries like this the temptation is to take everything literally. Was Senna treated with the contempt that is portrayed in the movie? Were the thoughts of Senna truly translated when people make claims of how he felt at certain times? All I know is that he is a man who should be remembered as the greatest! Its what these men can do when the cars are not the best..... and with exception to a few successful years with McLaren he didn't have the best (or even close to the best).

Left me in tears as a true genius was taken away from us. RIP

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Perhaps the greatest biographical documentary

10/10
Author: Revant Shah from WI, USA
12 October 2012

Senna is often remembered as the greatest racing driver of all times, not only in Formula1 but in Motorsports. However, not a lot of people know about his life or even his racing, which ended in 1994. These days, one would just look at his records and/or some YouTube footage of his races to gain an insight on the man. Even I belong in this category. I never got to see any of Senna's race on TV. I looked at his records and never understood why he was often called the greatest racing driver who ever lived. Well, now I do. This movie shows why he is one of the greatest racing drivers of all times.

This is a beautiful movie. It is mostly a documentary and consists of a lot of racing footage and interviews by Senna and several other people in F1 during his time. There is good amount soundtrack throughout it though which gives it more of a movie feel than a documentary. It is also the best documentary I have ever watched. The more you watch it, the more you gain perspective towards life of a man who was truly a legend. Don't dismiss this even if you are not into F1 or Motorsports. I think the beginning 20 minutes maybe hard to follow for someone who isn't into racing but it's mostly the event in Senna's life, his attitude and his intensity that make this documentary so interesting. The movie is very intense and almost left me in tears at the end (rarely happens with a documentary).

Also, this movie has quickly become very popular among racing fans all over the world. If you follow F1, like me, then you will hear many references to Senna and this movie every now and then so it's almost a necessity to watch this. Overall, a great documentary and I could watch this in a movie theater if they play.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Senna (2010)

9/10
Author: SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain from United Kingdom
10 June 2012

Senna tells the tragic tale of Ayrton Senna. Often considered the greatest F1 driver of his generation, Senna was successful at his chosen sport, as well as raising the profile thanks to media coverage. This documentary is compiled of only archive footage with voice overs from those involved. This successfully captures the time period. Kapadia, manages to compile the footage so that he actually tells a fairly straight forward narrative.This makes it exciting, even for those with no interest in the sport. He has the rise and fall, conflict, and an antagonist in Prost. What he doesn't do is vilify Prost, nor does he make Senna out to be some kind of saint. Prost's frustration is completely understandable, as Senna begins to make a few too many risks. The film builds to its obvious emotional climax, but some how avoids being completely predictable. Informative, passionate, and entertaining, this does more than a documentary needs to.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Winning formula

8/10
Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom
17 May 2012

I'm not a great fan of Formula One motor racing and wasn't intimately aware of the life and times of the late Ayrton Senna but I've always admired sporting geniuses with a touch of the maverick about them (think George Best, Alex Higgins, Seve Ballesteros, Muhammad Ali and others) and after seeing this rivetingly exciting documentary, would certainly grant the same status to Senna.

Concentrating almost entirely on his Formula One years, with only a brief introduction to his beginnings as the go-kart crazy child to well-off parents in the almost otherwise universally poor country of Brazil, we chart his speedy rise through the ranks until he reaches the pinnacle of his success with three World Championship successes at the end of the 80's and early 90's where he frequently clashed with the racing authorities and some of his sporting rivals , particularly his nemesis, the French "professor" Alain Prost. Theirs indeed was one of the great sporting rivalries like Ali/Frazier or Borg/McEnroe where opposites (in terms of temperament) repelled.

Senna's career was very much in the spotlight right from the start and while we get to see many of his greatest races demonstrating aptly his singular talent on the track, it's arguably even more interesting to see a little behind the man, particularly his concern for driver safety on the circuit, his massive popularity in his native Brazil and his closeness to his family, although we get only glimpses of his relationships with the women in his life. Told in chronological order, the film naturally ends in graphic tragedy at the 1993 San Marino grand-prix, ironically the day after another young driver died in a crash in practice.

The movie makes a virtue of not using a narrative voice-over, using instead commentaries both contemporary and retrospective by those who knew him at work and at play, together with many interviews with the man himself.

What comes across, not surprisingly, is a picture of a driven individual, but also with charisma and a social conscience. This film won't make me a fan of Formula One but it did make me a fan of Ayrton Senna.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An Emotional Race

9/10
Author: Benedict_Cumberbatch from Los Angeles, CA
4 January 2012

I was born and raised in Brazil. Although I'm not a big sports fan (not even soccer!), something I always get made fun of for, I remember vividly the 1st of May, 1994, the day Ayrton Senna died; even though I was only 6 years old. He was indeed a national hero, whether you cared for Formula One or not.

This is a solid, often fascinating documentary about a man's passion; in Senna's case, racing for the win. He won the F1 World Championship three times. His tragic death brings to mind the protagonists of Darren Aronofsky's two latest films: Randy "The Ram" (Mickey Rourke) in "The Wrestler" (2008), and Nina Sayers (an Oscar-winning Natalie Portman) in "Black Swan" (2010).

Still, I wouldn't call this a story about the search for "perfection." Senna's main appeal is its emotional journey. Brazil is a land of so many paradoxes, and so are its people. At the same time we can laugh at our own adversities (poverty, bad politics, crime history, etc.) by seeing the best of everything; Brazilians tend to inherently suffer from low self-esteem and disguised hopelessness which is only defeated at moments of national heroism, often in sports (Pele in soccer, for instance). I'm not saying Senna was a martyr of any sort. I believe he deserved to be called a national hero because of his talent, passion, and the way he entertained and made an entire nation proud. I never personally cared for Formula One, but I still remember the (sometimes annoying, but always nostalgic) friction noise of the racing cars we all saw on TV every Sunday morning. And the victory song that Brazilians will always associate with Senna. This film brings both elements (alongside some great footage) to introduce all these facets of Senna to a larger audience; and for others, like me, to celebrate the life of a true national hero.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Thrilling documentary about a captivating man

8/10
Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom
23 June 2011

The documentary genre, in my opinion, is capable of reaching heights that is impossible for regular features. It has the advantage of being true, and a fascinating story told well that happens to be true is always going to be that little bit more special. True, it can be used as a propaganda tool, but after the documentary boom that started near to that start of the millennium (and it still going strong), the genre has been taken to new heights. And with Senna, a profoundly moving and thoroughly exciting film, it has blended documentary film-making with drama, action and a genuinely touching rags-to-riches tale that goes way beyond the sport of car racing.

Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian Formula One racing driver, who took the sport by storm in the mid-eighties with his no-holds barred attitude to driving, fierce competitiveness, and patriotism for his native country. Senna was simply untouchable. Tensions rose when his McLaren-Honda partner Alain Prost accused him of being reckless and dangerous in his driving, and the two fought for dominance until Prost eventually left. Yet Senna was always at the forefront at campaigning for safer conditions for him and his fellow professionals in the face of the politics of the sport, and it seemed inevitable that the sport would tragically kill him in 1994.

Being a person that usually falls asleep whenever Formula One appears on my television, I was more interested to see a documentary about the man himself. But kudos must go to director Asif Kapadia, as I was completely caught up in the archival footage of the races themselves. Added to the fact I didn't have a clue who won what, it was made all the more exciting. The film starts at a running pace and never lets up, much like Senna himself. It is never sidetracked and the pace is never held up by the use of talking heads - Kapadia instead has small soundbites playing over the footage, and therefore we never leave Senna.

The man himself, who I knew next to nothing about before seeing the film, seems as enigmatic and as captivating as his reputation precedes. He is portrayed here as spiritual, intelligent and warm. His rivalry with Alain Prost is often shown a little one-sided, with Prost being initially a bit demonised, but it makes the sight of Senna stood with him on the champions podium with their arms around each other years later, and eventually Prost carrying Senna's coffin, all the more profoundly moving.

As the tragic ends approaches, Kapadia shows how the drivers were getting increasingly concerned about safety, and Senna is always at the forefront of it. Here the film takes on an almost apocalyptic tone, as Senna's tragic death approaches. As the camera focuses on and studies Senna's face as he prepares for the race, it's almost as if he knows. He looks unsure, concerned, and yet somehow resigned to his fate. As if this is something he must do for the greater good. Perhaps I'm almost romanticising his death, but I was captivated by the man, and when the end came, I was deeply touched.

A powerful documentary about a fascinating sportsman, and although it's not going to get me into the sport, I certainly have a new-found respect for it.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Vrrrooom

9/10
Author: jcsdavidson from United Kingdom
22 June 2011

One of the best documentaries I have ever seen. My husband dragged me to it (I hate F1) but I was totally sucked into the drama on and of the track. An incredible story and one I can't wait to watch again. That is pretty much all I have to say on the film; less is more. However, IMDb informs me that I am *required* to write 10 lines of text! I didn't realise I was being marked... Also, they rudely want to know my age on registration - I don't really see how this is any of your business IMDb. I entered 1900 and was told that "your age is too old to register"! A little bit ageist methinks. Doubtless I will now be blocked from future posts but who cares. I don't have time to write 10 lines every time anyway.

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