I’m not a Formula 1 fan, I much prefer MotoGP or Touring Cars, maybe Rallying, but I did used to watch the sport and I do remember watching the accident in which Senna tragically lost his life live on TV.
This documentary follows the life of the man behind the wheel, from his early days in karting right up to the tragic day when he was just 34.
There have been a few motorsport documentaries this year such as TT3D about the Isle of Man TT races and Fastest about the MotoGP racing. They all have a similar look and feel despite being done by different people. That’s not a criticism, far from it, I like this seemingly new way of doing documentaries, all three have been fantastic.
What director Asif Kapadia does well with Senna is to use old footage of the man, his team and the other drivers almost exclusively. It gives the film a real sense of time and obviously a sense of realism.
You don’t have to be an F1 fan to enjoy the film but there are a few parts when you sense it would help a little, but that should in no-way stop you watching it.
The man himself is charismatic, thoughtful and passionate all at the same time, his love for the sport is clear as is his desire to always win.
The footage, usually onboard (always the best in my opinion) is gritty and the sense of speed is only enhanced by the sound.
I was slightly puzzled that, despite Asif being from Hackney, London, he mainly uses ESPN commentator John Bisignano and you only hear Murray Walker once or twice, though I believe this is purely because John interviewed Ayrton over 100 times in his career.
You won’t be disappointed watching this documentary, it’s fast, furious and above all emotional, the scenes at the end of the film of Ayrton’s funeral are amazingly poignant.
You really do wish that we had someone as exciting as Senna in the sport today instead of the snore fest we see now.