The tendency is often to go to documentaries that touch on topics that already interest us, to expand knowledge about these topics and because it will be easier to assess if they are contributing something to us. But the best documentary is able to go beyond areas of interest to make its object of study the true center, and to be able to tell it to you in a way that excites and keeps you interested until the end.
For this reason, there are few names as remarkable in the genre as Asif Kapadyawhich has been able to overcome limitations -narrative and also commercial- of a specific variety such as the biography of great celebrities.
Far from falling into the typical portrait, his works on Amy Winehouse and Diego Maradona have been an example of his ability to do character studies real (personalities). And all the elements that make them successful were also in ‘Senna‘, his documentary about the Formula 1 driver that is now available on HBO Max.
Stomping to the end
As its name indicates, the subject to study the Brazilian Ayrton senna, one of the best athletes ever who revolutionized the field of motorsports. The film follows his short but intense life, shining in the art of driving but doing it with unparalleled intensity.
Product of his character, but also of a quite suspicious context of him and that, according to the documentary, harmed him in favor of his teammate and eternal rival Alain Prost.We see these political gossip by the federation and the specialized press, in addition to their explosive trajectory that ended suddenly with an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix that caused his premature death. All this is told by Kapadia using a amazing amount of filepromptly supported by voice recordings of relatives and people close to the Brazilian.
That’s what’s so impressive about the movie ‘Senna’, that it didn’t require additional recording, or pull re-enactments. All this was already recorded at the time and we are presented with such a clean and effective narration that it seems unbelievable that not everything is recorded expressly for the documentary. The assembly of Chris King Y Gregers Sall it offers the information clearly and is brilliantly narrated, leaving us with a clear context, conflicts and characters involved.
‘Senna’: a prodigious character study
That is why it is not necessary to have extensive knowledge in motorsports or in the history of Formula 1 competition, because the pieces that it presents to you are polished with enough clarity so you can enter history.
And you don’t need to leave it all chewed up either, in order to maintain a certain enigmatic character about Sennaa man burnt out by pursuing the sweet taste of victory without himself being clear about what made him want to reach that goal before anyone else.
Those details make ‘Senna’ a fabulous sports document, but also a prodigious character study, which anyone will be able to enjoy.
The documentary has cinematographic tools well used for the story to catch and be the protagonist, making it more powerful than notable car fiction films such as ‘Rush’ or ‘Le Mans ’66’. Whether or not you’re interested in racing cars, this is a must-have piece.