Top critical review
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Disappointing given the subject
on 22 January 2012
My background is that I got into formula 1 84-85 at the age of 7. A very impressionable age and Senna burst on to the scene and I was hooked on one driver till 94. I have since remained an avid Formula 1 and McLaren fan as a result.
You therefore might expect my words to be somewhat biased on the pro side. Unfortunately however I feel that so much more was possible. I appreciate the time limit and the financial element but so much is missing. As lots have said, Donnington isn't there, Adelaide is missing, the joust with Alesi is absent, the Mansell war of 92 is skimmed over, and that for me immediately rings alarm bells on whether or not the guy I idolised has really been appreciated. There is so much in this film that is good, but I don't think they bring out the real, raw, talent for racing that was what drew the fans.
On the flip side, I think they've done the relationships with Prost and Ron Dennis some justice, but yet again where is the practice dialog of Senna talking about Prost at Imola? Their relationship was so complex but the film pushes you down the route of hatred towards Prost. Neither Prost or Senna were innocent in their battle and in some respects that's what made it all so compelling. Apart from the few obvious ones that are included like Estoril, Suzuka x2 and Interlagos 91 etc the other memories I have are simply not there.
I did appreciate the footage of the drivers briefings which I hadn't seen before. What an unpleasant man Jean Marie Balestre comes across as. These are the shining light above what I have already seen in the previous releases of Senna films.
In summary, I think they could have caught the emotion in a deeper more complex way but then I appreciate that this was made for the big screen. There are some good aspects and that makes it worth seeing, however I found myself reaching the end of the film listing off missing scenes to my wife. There is another publisher that originally released a video for Senna and that still remains the target to beat for me and it's a pity that it won't ever see a DVD release. It's a crying shame that all parties cannot come together and make the ultimate 'Life of Senna' video biography for the motorsport fan but then the rich wouldn't be much richer doing it that way and I dread to think what the footage in the film cost. I only wish I could legally obtain and view the uncut version and perhaps my critical comments may well be unfounded.