Senna

Senna

(2010)

Documentary on Brazilian Formula One legend Ayrton Senna. You don’t have to be a petrolhead to ‘get’ the legend of Ayrton Senna. Ask any Brazilian – or check out the most enthralling big-screen sports documentary since When We Were Kings. Senna’s career on and off the track is traced through voice-over interviews and carefully restored archival material, much of it never seen before.

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Flicks Review

Senna is an entertaining, absorbing and inspiring documentary celebrating a champion’s talent. Compiled from archival material, mostly old video from interviews, news or thrilling race footage from a on-board cameras, the film celebrates supreme skill. Without a wild lifestyle to delve into, Ayrton Senna is portrayed as a man defined by what he achieved on the track.... More

Focussing on Senna’s victorious streak from the late ‘80s to the early ‘90s, the film immerses us in the rivalries and the high-speed excitement of the racing world. The antagonist (though the film is careful to redeem him) is fellow McClaren racer, Alain Prost. Despite some dodgy tactical moments as they clash – often literally – Senna is portrayed as the great sportsman, always striving for fairness or for the improvement of his sport.

Only very occasionally does the documentary try too hard, with a few too many glib generalisations about Senna being born to race, or a team doctor needlessly sanctifying his hero with the eye of hindsight. The specifics of Formula One rules and tactics are not explained for newbies, either. Nevertheless, some big name producers (Tim Bevan, Kevin Macdonald) are on board to craft a broadly appealing and moving tribute to a genuine star.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY Robb-Morison superstar

The Senna movie was truly impressive and not just for those interested in motor racing, a great insight to racing at the highest level.


SOFTLY SPOKEN, FIERCELY COMPETITIVE, and with God on his side, Senna was a hell of a race car driver. This documentary is extremely well crafted. Very cinematic in its choices, the only talking head we ever see is Senna's, the rest of the time it's vintage footage. Which gives the film its immediacy. The poignancy that pervades the film is because you know how it ends - this is, indeed, a tragedy. But a quite beautiful one - about a quietly intense and effortlessly charismatic man who became a... More potent symbol of joy in his home country of Brazil. Interestingly, he describes his purest driving as being his time karting, as a teenager. Which reminded me of local film THE HOPES & DREAMS OF GAZZA SNELL. Senna has far greater scale ultimately, but the pure joy of driving that grass-roots karting evokes is clear in both films. Recommended.Hide


wow

What a brilliant movie and what a tragic loss of life. In some ways it reminded me of watching Control which I also found hard to enjoy knowing the inevitable tragic end. I loved that the interviews were all just voiceovers, with only their names shown, whilst the archival footage kept rolling. It meant momentum wasn't lost and kept the focus on Senna. I have no interest in F1 but found this documentary utterly fascinating from the opening scene to end of the credits. I recommend it to all,... More but suggest you bring tissues.Hide


The Press Reviews

92% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Senna is considered one of motorsporting's greats, but Asif Kapadia's film also makes it clear he was a sort of artist, his talent accompanied by an unquenchable thirst for excellence and a belief that racing offered him a connection to God. Full Review

  • A documentary that does the job it sets out to do. I wish it had tried for more. It is a competent TV sports doc, the sort you'd expect to see on ESPN. Unless you are a big fan of Senna or Formula One, I don't know why you'd want to pay first-run prices to see it. Full Review

  • Ambitiously constructed, deeply compelling, thrilling and in no way only for those who like watching cars drive in circles. A worthy paean to a true talent. Full Review

  • As a personality profile, Senna is sketchy at best. Born into a well-to-do family in São Paulo, Brazil, Senna pursued the sport from a young age with a maniacal zeal. He comes across as a fatalistic daredevil and as a man of the people, his wealthy background aside. Full Review

  • As a personality profile, Senna is sketchy at best. Born into a well-to-do family in São Paulo, Brazil, Senna pursued the sport from a young age with a maniacal zeal. He comes across as a fatalistic daredevil and as a man of the people, his wealthy background aside. Full Review

  • A documentary with the pace of a thriller, a story of motors and machines that is beyond compelling because of the intensely human story it tells. Full Review

  • Flawed and reluctant to dig too deep, but also a lyrical, haunting and nerve-wracking portrait: the thinking man’s true-life Top Gun (with cars). Full Review

  • Footage from an onboard camera thrillingly places the viewer in Senna's lap, and soberingly includes the accident that claimed his life. Full Review

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