Austrian driver Niki Lauda and British driver James Hunt dramatize the glamour, courage, and some might say, insanity of the 1970’s Formula One race circuit. Each of them successful at living his blockbuster life – fame and fortune via their one true passion-racing cars. Two rivals involved in a deadly sport known to pluck a percentage of other rivals off the face of the planet each season.

Can two guys at the top of their game suffer from villainous blocks? Isn’t being the best at what we do the goal in removing and busting through our villains toward our own blockbuster life?

There are many areas of life in which to succeed. For Niki, the PIRATE villain has him feeling less than in terms of his personal life. Awkward about his place in the social arena he seems accepting of his deficits. Never wavering in his passion and determination for being the best at racing, the tight, self-contained, strict-living Niki pales in comparison to the British driver, James Hunt. But then everyone has a Pirate villain telling them they are “less than,” when compared to James. Equally passionate and determined towards racing, his passion for fast women and faster living carries over far after the race is done.

One could also argue the MONSTER villain is a deadly Siren calling to them, holding them hopelessly and helplessly in her death grip through their love of danger, their love of fear itself. When the fear of living just a normal life becomes stronger than the fear of dying, individuals excel to heights of greatness, or death. It’s a villain they both don’t necessarily want to be rid of. As a result, James has fleeting, romantic adventures and Niki is decidedly unromantic when he mutters to his fiancé, “If I am going to marry anyone, it might as well be you.” Jeez, thanks sweetie. James himself said it best, “How can you expect something normal from a guy who races in circles at 170 mph?” Maybe it was the decade when sex wasn’t deadly, drinking and drugging to excess wouldn’t get you 12-stepped into rehab, and it was cool to be living large with no one in charge during off hours. James Hunt had it down. He knew how to enjoy the life he so willingly put on the back shelf every time he stepped into his racecar. To a man of extremes, this could be a pact with the devil and well worth it. Niki says at the end of the film that James was the only person of whom he was ever envious. There you are, Mugger villain — keeping Niki from living that balls out life off the racetrack as well as on.

JPH NOTE: Of these two daredevil drivers it can be said that they had to numb themselves to both their blocks and their truth in order to keep risking their lives each and every race. Monsters, and Pirates and villains of all sorts kept them tied to their ultimate high – winning the race. The question is, if the monsters were slain, would they lose their need for speed?

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