Length: 106 minutes / 1.77 hours
I’ve never been much of a fan of NASCAR racing, mostly because I knew that Formula-1 existed. While I haven’t paid much attention to Formula-1, it was interesting to watch the documentary on Ayrton Senna, especially with how it was put together. Most documentaries will intersperse interviews and other pieces of ancillary information to support the main narrative. Not Senna (2010). Consisting almost entirely of video clips recorded at the time he was racing, Senna is a fascinating look into this racer’s life that benefits from hindsight to piece the video clips together and the full story.
The sheer amount of skill and mechanical prowess it takes to race Formula-1 cars at top speeds is what gives this film its initial entertainment value. Added to that, we have the charismatic personality of Ayrton Senna, whose whole goal in life was to be the fastest driver around. He didn’t care about the politics of the racing circuit or what others thought of him. He just cared about being the best, whatever that took. He knew his strengths and played to them at each opportunity that presented itself to his benefit.
As with any sport, purists like Senna resisted the advancement of technology to help reduce the inherent dangers of the game. Basically, even if something can contribute goodness to the sport, it doesn’t mean that it’s at the right maturity to integrate in without some serious hiccups. Once again, the hindsight of events helped to stitch together a visual narrative that would ultimately result in tragic circumstances. By the end of the film, it becomes obvious why it was comprised entirely of old footage of these F-1 races.
A fantastic documentary of a fantastic F-1 racer, I give Senna 4.0 stars out of 5.