I have recently re-watched Ron Howard’s 2013 movie Rush. A true story of one of sport’s great rivalries starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Bastards). It also features a great portrayal of the 70’s super model, Suzy Miller, played by Olivia Wilde.
(Caution quasi-spoiler alert for this post, though the quasi-spoilers won’t ruin the film for you)
It is a story of intense competition between two rival men, Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. It’s focus is the year 1976 when they were locked in close points race for the championship. It is also a study in contrast in styles. Hunt (played by Hemsworth) was a good looking playboy immersed in countless parties, women and drink. His patron was Lord Alexander Hemsworth who was famous for his lavish parties. Remember that in Europe, part of Asia and South America, F1 racing is wildly popular and its stars are real celebrities. Hunt was a very talented driver who had natural ability and instincts. He raced with a style similar to his lifestyle; bold, aggressive and often reckless.
In contrast Niki Lauda (Bruhl) was a very methodical Austrian Driver. He lacked the charisma of Hunt but was ruthlessly disciplined, a tireless worker and a student of every aspect of the sport. He was three time world champion. But is famous for his response to the accident he had in the 1976 that horrifically burned him, disfiguring his face and severely damaging his lungs
The first 40 minutes is a spectacular piece of cinematography by Howard. With fantastic photography, clever music, insightful soliloquy and script; the beginning captures the context, contrasting styles of the protagonists, an introduction to the sport and the start of the story. It is a masterpiece of entertainment done with conciseness.
However, the meeting between Lauda and Hunt near the end of the film is loaded with wisdom on the mindset of winners. I highly recommend watching this through with idea of competing always in mind.
Embracing a rival and understanding that it will make you better at your craft is the walk away concept.