31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Lives up to the hype,
This review is from: Senna [DVD]  (DVD)
Senna was touted as one of the movies of 2011 and one of the best sporting documentaries ever and it doesn't disappoint.
It tells the story of Brazilian Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna's time in the sport. He arrived in Europe as an unknown go-karter but his talent was obvious and he soon joined Formula 1. He graduated from the small Toleman team to the more prestigious Lotus and finally to McLaren where he was a team mate of Alain Prost. They were the two best drivers at the time and their rivalry was so intense that they eventually stopped speaking to one another after many racing incidents between them.
The best parts of the movie are the brilliant race footage and the many interviews with Senna at various stages of his career. Senna was remarkably frank in describing his feelings about the internal politics of Formula 1. There is also great footage of pre-race drivers meetings. At these Senna wasn't slow in expressing his feelings at what he saw as the favouritism of the FIA authorities towards Prost.
All commentary and interviews are included as voice-over or sub-titles. There are no "talking heads".
Senna comes across as an unusual character for a Formula 1 driver. People such as McLaren boss Ron Dennis and chief F1 doctor Sid Watkins speak of what a great man he was, as well as being a great driver. There is plenty of footage of Senna's personal life, including his charitable work in Brazil and a fascinating clip from a Brazilian TV show where the blonde presenter unashamedly chats him up!
Unfortunately most people watching the movie will be aware of how tragically it ends. The fatal weekend at Imola is covered in depth from the death of Roland Ratzenberger in practice to on board footage of Senna's final lap during the race. The scenes in Brazil on the return of his body and during his funeral make it clear how important he was to ordinary Brazilians, at a time when they had few reasons to be proud of their country.
Senna is most definitely the "hero" of this movie and the story is told from his point of view. Perhaps the filmmakers could be accused of some bias of their own. However given the character of the man and his life story they can be forgiven for this.
A great movie for followers of motor sport as well as anyone with an interest in fascinating life stories.