If there was any doubt that the legendary Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna was a true legend, this movie establishes it by way of concrete re-enforcement. To his peers he was a living legend; in death he is revered by his contemporaries as the greatest. It is clear that the producers of ‘Senna’ also have a soft spot for the man. This is a movie that can be appreciated by Ayrton ‘die-hards’ and equally by those less knowledgeable.
Some documentaries explore an untold story or expose a fact previously not common knowledge. To draw an audience to the subject matter words such as ’shocking’ or ‘untold story’ are used. ‘Senna’ is not packaged with any sensational revelation or controversial message. The shock and awe have been replaced by a celebration of one mans contribution not just to motor racing but to sporting legend. The documentary ‘Senna’ is a lesson in how to sell a legend. As a piece of promotion the movie represents a compelling perspective. The movie is persuasive in its construction: images and sound seek to influence the impression of a man born a legend. If this movie were to promote Senna’s post-racing career business activities it might be logical to assume it good for business.
The movie avoids typical ‘talking-heads’ style interviews and using film archives enables ‘Senna’ to achieve a sense of authenticity. The movie evokes feelings. The musical score underpins the emotional strands of the story and the character of the man speaks for himself.
‘Senna’ is a celebration; it does not provide a balanced view of events, if the movie were fiction it would not matter; what matters is the story and its affect on an audience. ’Senna’ is a biopic like no other; the use of archive footage provides the filmmaker a unique opportunity to present a story without need for a casting department.
Senna the man was extremely spiritual, as evidenced in the movie; ‘Senna’ the movie carries his spirit and gives inspiration to those who hope and dream. In life dark forces exist – it is these that must make way for the light: Senna’s legacy runs wider than motorsport alone.