Here in Britain we won’t get to see “Senna” – the film documentary on the life of Ayrton Senna – until June next year.
The film has already opened in Japan and is arriving in Brazil at present. F1 Fanatic reader Robert York (who posts as Yukirin Boy) has seen the film in Tokyo and wrote in to share his verdict on the movie:
First, I think anyone who who enjoys motor racing would enjoy the movie.
The film, as I think you are aware is a collection of interviews with Senna and other footage, most of which we haven’t seen before and interspersed with some great film of some of the bigger races in Senna’s career. Seeing 1980s or 1990s in-car footage on a big screen is fantastic.
Compared to today’s in-car shots the quality is obviously poorer but, whether it is the screen size or the much greater amount of movement of the car it is raw, dramatic and much more special.
The story of Senna’s career is basically told by Ayrton himself. The film gives a pretty straight narrative from F1 debut, to the rivalry between him and Alain Prost at McLaren to Imola 1994 with little diversion, which is a shame.
There is a big jump from karting straight to F1, which disappointingly for a English fan of motor racing, misses out the British F3 championship of 1983 and the battle with
Also the apparent rivalry with Nelson Piquet, the early spats with Nigel Mansell along with his friendship with Gerhard Berger for instance are all pruned from the plot. However, to make the film a reasonable length, not everything can be included – even if a F1 fan would like it to.
There are voiceover interviews and stories from other various important people in Ayrton’s career – including Prost – and family members too which add some further insight into his character and what made him special.
The largest part of the film is about the 1988 -1990 McLaren Senna/Prost rivalry. While Prost is not portrayed in as fair a way as he deserves, he is not made out to be the total villain. That is reserved for FISA President Jean-Marie Balestre.
After 1990 the film makes another frustrating leap, skipping fairly quickly through to 1994 and the crash. Watching the Imola weekend unfold is very disturbing, with much unseen footage of practice and Japanese TV footage (for me, Imola 1994 was the first F1 race I watched on Japanese TV).
It was a worthwhile film and gave insight and lighter moments to laugh and reminisce with fondness along with tears and being sent back to May 1st, 1994.
The film is about 90 minutes long and definitely worth the trip to the nearest cinema you can watch it at when it opens.
Something that struck me at the end was after the credits and the lights went up there was no chatter from the full house, everyone was absolutely silent, not a sound, until they were back into the noise and bustle of Tokyo streets.
If you’ve been to see “Senna” already, share your opinion on it in the comments.
- The Making of Senna part 9: The response in Brazil
- The Making of Senna part 8: The Death of Ayrton Senna
- The Making of Senna part 7: Imola 1994
- The Making of Senna part 6: The perfect bad guy?
- The Making of Senna part 5: The lost scenes
- The Making of Senna part 4: ‘You’ve never heard F1 sound like this’
- The Making of Senna part 3: Inside the F1 archive
- The Making of Senna part 2: Meeting the Sennas
- The Making of Senna part 1: Life and death
- “Senna” – the Ayrton Senna movie reviewed