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Senna
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Reviews & Ratings for
Senna More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I approve

9/10
Author: cruzromeu from Portugal
3 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't vote 10 because something is missing on that film. I can only hope that we going to see Senna part 2 soon. I was a big fan of Senna, and F1 in those times, and i was only 15 when Senna dies. I still remember today when i jumped from the couch and screamed "nooo". But as i said, something is missing, a lot was not told in the film. He had another several disputes with the system and regulations, even about security. Only after his death, several regulations about the drivers security where created. And the great races that he had and was not seen???... I never forget in Donington in 1993 when, with the inferior Macclaren-Ford, in the 1st lap, he came from 5ft to 1st in 4 turns... in Rain... Even Michael Schumacher said one time that Senna was the best ever... Since then, i don't remember the last time i saw F1 races... Besides that, is a great biography... with real footage, real interviews and great comments... Although, i agree with another comment that said that the little BBC documentary about Senna (i think it was in a episode of Top Gear) was also good. A must see: ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNmqn3heGgE)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Wonderful Documentary

10/10
Author: glenngallup from United States
13 January 2012

Unlike most of the people who will see this wonderful film My wife and I were at Imola in the Tribune Verde behind Tosa May 1st 1994. We had a commanding view of the exit of the Tamburello corner and witnessed Senna's crash. I've been a fan of F1 since 1953 and believe me it wasn't easy then. No TV, not even re-broadcasts, nothing in the news unless there was a driver killed. Then you might see something at the bottom of the sports pages. So actually seeing an F1 race was a dream. Imola was my third. I still have the ticket. Watch this film, see the in car footage,especially the footage at Monte Carlo when Ayrton takes you for the ride of a lifetime. I've been up that hill at maybe 45 mph. He did it at 170 mph+. See this film. You'll never forget it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A gripping tale of talent, rivalry and tragedy

10/10
Author: (maxandria) from United Kingdom
23 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My wife and I saw this last night at a cinema that had no spare seats. It was the second attempt at seeing the film...the first attempt saw us queueing for 15 minutes, only to see the film sell out before we got our tickets!

Well now we've seen it, we understand the popularity. It's beautifully filmed, perfectly narrated and full of footage even ardent F1 fans like us (well, we were in the 80s and 90s hey days!) have simply never been privvy to before.

On board footage, better than anything seen at the time or since, gives a feel for the edginess and ferocity of the evil, raw and animal like F1 cars of the day.

Behind the scenes footage portrays the drivers as ordinary guys, moaning and joking about the day's work ahead of them.

Personal and private footage of the main characters shows their humanity in a new light. Who'd have thought anyone could ever like Ron Dennis - but he comes across really well in this film!

This film gives a real insight into the rivalry between Senna and Prost, how it developed, how deeply it ran (into a loathing of each other) and how they finally buried the hatchet completely.

It documents the tragic and devastating events of the 1994 Imola GP in a way that has you screaming to yourself, "don't do it, Ayrton...you know everything is wrong!!". You see first hand just how sincerely Senna wanted NOT to drive at that awful event, but how his competitive spirit apparently wouldn't allow him to sit it out.

No film is perfect. In our view, one slight criticism is that the film demonises Prost just a little too much for comfort. Clearly Senna is the hero and Prost the panto villain, so there's inevitable bias towards Ayrton. But Prost is really laid into, with lots of insinuation regarding his behaviour towards Senna and others, and also about his relationship with Jean Marie Ballestre. It may all be completely true, who knows, but it's not fair to imply that Prost was ENTIRELY to blame for the breakdown in his relationship with Senna, is it? Ah well, whatever. It makes gripping viewing and Prost comes out of it OK in the end!

Ultimately, the film gives you a new insight into Ayrton Senna, a deeply misunderstood driving genius who was taken from this world much too early by a G-d who couldn't wait to have him! It's gripping, thrilling, moving and frankly unmissable.

Go and see it, you'll be very glad you did.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful but biased documentary

7/10
Author: Michael Parker from United Kingdom
5 May 2012

In his lifetime and racing, Senna divided opinion. To some he was the great hero, the brilliant talent who managed through his exceptional prowess, to reach the top of his sport. To others, he was an arrogant, aggressive, self-confident bully, who pushed everyone else aside as necessary, and who feared nothing since he believed he had God on his side. Perhaps inevitably, this documentary is made by those from the first group, and as a result it ignores much of the hatred and frustration that he caused others. Alain Prost and Jean-Marie Balestre are made out to be the bad guys, desperately trying to subvert Senna's undoubted abilities, for their own ends, but the reality is that there were many in the F1 paddock and outside, who disagreed with Senna's attitude and approach. This documentary is a tour-de-force of editing and research - I can't imagine how they managed to put together such a well crafted piece from the 1000s of hours of footage that they located. But it ignores the many other arguments that were created by Senna, focusing solely on the Prost/Balestre feud. What of the time when Senna punches Eddie Irvine after a race, for overtaking him? When he pushed Mansell off the racetrack in Belgium in 1987 and Brazil in 1986, or Schumacher in France in 1992, to mention 4 of many occasions. Senna was an absolutely ruthless driver and without any sportsmanship. The film implies that Prost was the bad guy at Maclaren, but he was not the only driver who found he could not work with Senna as a teammate. It was the same for de Angelis at Lotus, who was forced to leave in 1985, while Senna refused to have Derek Warwick in the team in 1986, because Warwick might have challenged his superiority. So an undoubted talent, but a very flawed personality who believed that winning was his right at whatever cost to anyone else - something which this film completely misses.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Adrenaline-charged beauty

10/10
Author: joeravioli from Chad
10 January 2016

What I despise about action films nowadays is their unceasing quest to outdo their predecessors, not in terms of quality and emotion, but in regard to the most superficial -- yet most pleasing -- of cinematic aspects: spectacle. CGI use has reached an all-time high and is showing no sign of stagnation, each blockbuster pushing at the edge of what should be possible with wild and reckless abandon, as if they have forgotten all rules of filmmaking and are simply -- like their actors -- jumping off cliffs for money. Cheap thrills, and little else, have become expected staples in action cinema.

The result? Ultimate and irredeemable desensitization. We are no longer shocked by entire planets exploding, no longer feel any sort of thrill when Tom Cruise renders eight thugs senseless, bored when Karl Urban shoots up a whole room of junkies in slow-motion, and barely even entertained when Vin Diesel drives from one building into another, with explosions illuminating the air behind him. This already false substance has become utter fluff, which filmmakers pile on when their ideas and intellect fail them.

And yet, we, as an audience for these stupid filmmakers, yearn blindly for what is rarely provided. We want to see big explosions, epic fights, car chases, etc. We want to be thrilled when we partake in the blanched and boneless experience of watching modern films, and sadly, this does rarely ever happens.

As such, I picked up Senna from the library hoping for fast cars. That's about it, really. I just wanted to scrunch up on a chair and watch fast cars drive around, crash, explode, and sure, win if possible. I didn't care when it came to who was driving them. Basically, I was in it for a Fast and Furious montage, except slightly more realistic and without Vin Diesel making me squirm with his quasi-religious "family" monologues.

"I don't got friends. I got family." "Your brother never told you to threaten a man's family? It's a pretty stupid thing to do." "You don't turn your back on your family, even when they do." (What the hell?!) "This time, it ain't about just being fast." (Okay, that one isn't about family, but it still sucks)

Senna begins with grainy footage. Which makes sense, considering that it is a documentary about Ayrton Senna, a racecar driver active in the 80s and early 90s, and most, if not all of the footage is collected from that period. But it was initially rather a letdown, considering that I had hoped for something ultra-sleek and sexy, sort of in the vein of Rush (2013) with its lithe, jungle-cat(esque) stylishness, both physically and cinematically. Despite this, the film delivers, not only on the fast cars, but on sheer entertainment. The film is intense and thrilling simply because the footage is real. A sense of the drivers' mortality is evoked within the viewer as we are placed in the driver's shoes, forcing us to understand the rawness and terror of Formula 1 racing as the driver is forced to grapple with every time he enters the car.

But what is most surprising about the film is Senna himself. Ayrton Senna is one of the most magnetic individuals that film has had the opportunity to depict. He is a man, complete with emotion, beauty, and anger, displayed to the audience as a full human being rather than simply a character. His initial friendship and eventual rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost is captured just as magnificently as his delirious ecstasy at winning the World Championship in Brazil, his country of origin.

The film, unlike most documentaries, tells real-life stories with an effective dramatic flair, instead of simply presenting events one after the other. Each scene has a purpose, whether to deepen our knowledge of Senna himself or to entertain. Whichever it chooses to do with each subsequent scene is consistently satisfying and emotional.

I loved Senna, every single minute of it. It reminded me that we can in fact be emotionally invested in films, that we can be entertained by them, even moved to tears by them. Sure, technical prowess is admirable, but there has to be a pulse behind it all. And when that pulse is fleshed out, undiluted and inextricable from the cinematic experience, the film has undeniably succeeded.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Movie - Controversial Star

Author: spiritof67 from United States
17 August 2015

Senna was lucky enough during his era that Brazilian TV had their own people covering Formula 1 (he wasn't the only Brazilian F1 driver) and thus a treasure trove of original broadcast material was available. So this documentary, which covers a very talented and extremely controversial star was made possible.

The subject, Ayrton Senna da Silva, was one of the leading stars of F1 in his era. He drove in (and won) races with a talent many thought beyond human. Whether true or not, one thing WAS true: he also brought a mentality to F1 and motorsports which made it much more dangerous than ever before. His take on things was, "If I can't pass you and I feel I need to, I will push you off, wreck you or otherwise create a dangerous situation if needed." Some of his fans contest this, but this documentary shows it more than once. One of the best sequences is an interview with Jackie Stewart, a multiple World Champion himself, which obviously shows Stewart's disdain for what Senna is doing to the reputation of World Champions in general. Senna's sidestep of Stewart asking him why he has had more car-to- car contact in three years than any other Champion had in their whole career is priceless. One other thing that is lacking is any insight into Ayrton's "personal" life that rings true.While he is shown with women represented as "girlfriends", there is another truth there that is not shown but was evident in his era.

The other major plot element here is Senna's combative relationship with sometimes-teammate Alain Prost. Prost managed to defeat all of the previous (and some future) Champions in his era and was the sole driver who took the fight to Senna directly - and beat him. The movie shows though that however that might have been,Prost rose above the petty level he could have retained off track.

Excellent period F1 footage from a "real" racing era, unlike today's cars. Insightful (but sometimes ill informed) narration from a number of sources. Interesting sidelights about Senna's faith, which was not evident in his English language interviews. And family footage, some of which is heart-rending. Overall, a controversial documentary on a controversial star whose legacy is still disputed. Shows you just how charismatic and talented he really was, I think.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just Senna

10/10
Author: Ricardo Lopes
26 February 2014

It is rare for a documentary to leave the same impact as a movie. An emphasis of reality, good acting and other factors make it more exciting, more appealing ... However when you see this fantastic work of Asif Kapadia with Ayrton Senna as the main star, where images, sounds, speeches and people are pure event, it becomes difficult to make that judgment. In this documentary we vibrate, we learn, we fall in love and even without having seen him racing or hearing about the legend only after his departure, in the same way as his first fans we miss him... the greatest driver the world has ever seen. A work that must be seen and re-seen.

Review by Ragnak

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant exposition of an astonishing life

Author: rogerdarlington from United Kingdom
18 December 2013

This brilliant, award-winning documentary by British director Asif Kapadia tells the story of the amazing life and unexplained death of Brazilian racing car driver Ayrton Senna. Driving for four different teams, Senna managed to win the Formula One World Championship three times, along the way having a bitter rivalry with the French driver Alain Prost and a variety of incidents and controversies.

All this - plus aspects of his personal life including his devout Catholism and support for poor children - is told through a skillful stitching together of clips from interviews, races and commentaries with no narrator so, although it is not always clear exactly what is happening, the tale unfolds like the heroics and then the tragedy of a Greek drama.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful execution

10/10
Author: Dominic Nickel
30 November 2013

This film is an excellent representation of what Ayrton was. His driving skill would still be unrivaled today. This film accurately captures his passion and and dedication to the sport. The narration in in conjunction with the perfectly chosen footage helps to illustrate exactly why senna was so good. If you are looking for a thrilling, extremely interesting documentary, than this is for you. This film doesn't have to try to get your attention, it manages to draw you in without effort. When you are done watching you will wish the film wasn't over. Whether you like cars, racing, or just documentaries, this film will entertain and educate till the end.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An incredible tale of an incredible racer and a legendary man.

10/10
Author: coreycarruthers from California, United States
17 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there is any documentary that truly captures the essence of a person, it is Senna. I have to admit Formula 1 was not on my list of interests before viewing this film however, it is next to near impossible to not be pulled into the incredible story of Ayrton Senna. A racing driver who struggles to find balance between his passion and his beliefs, Senna is the perfect athlete to focus a camera on not only for his driving skills, but also for his complex and incredible personality. A true legend on and off of the track, this film captures the emotion of the sport along with the pain of losing such a tremendous person. This film will go down in history among the greats.

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