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Psychological Movie Review

Student Name: Rahul Chawla

Psychological Disorder: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Name of Movie: Rush (2013)
Movie rating: 8.1/10 (IMDb) ; 9.6 (Pdrso
Characters Name: James Hunt
Actors Name: Chris Hemsworth

How does the movie relate to the course material we have covered in class or in your

Rush is a sports biopic centred around two Formula 1 racers James Hunt and Nicky Lauda.
The film portrays the professional rivalry between the two racers in the 1976 Formula 1
season.Both the drivers have the same goal of becoming the world champion. The movie
depicts the distinctly different personalities and thought processes of both the drivers. Some
of the psychological concepts that the movie covers and are also the part of our curriculum
are: 1) Motivation 2) Personality Disorder 3) Emotions 4) Decision Making 5) Problem
Solving and Creativity 6) Social Influence

1. Scene 1 Building up an efficient race car for the team. Psychological concept
depicted Problem Solving and Creativity (Scene at 15:15)

In this scene Nicky Lauda visits the facilities of the Formula 1 team BRM for which he is the
new driver. He talks to the mechanics about the technical details of the car like weight of the
engine and horsepower of the car. The mechanic tells him the exact details but Nicky is not
happy. He tells the mechanic that he wants the engine 20 kgs lighter and the horsepower to
increase by 50. The mechanic says that it is not possible as they have tried everything
including changing the exhaust system. Nicky gave a solution to the problem by telling the
mechanic to use magnesium parts. The solution worked and the car became faster by 2
seconds than the original car. Nicky used algorithm method of problem solving as the
solution was specific and guaranteed success.
2. Scene 2 Nicky Lauda quitting the crucial final race. Psychological concept depicted
Emotional Decision Making (Scene at 1:37:40)

In this scene it was a must win race for Nicky to win the world championship. The weather
was bad and it was raining heavily. He had a slow start but later he managed to cover up.
While he was driving behind James Hunt his visibility deteriorated. He could not see the
track. At that time, he could see his wifes face. He knew that there was a lot of risk in
continuing the race. He had a fear that if he has an accident again he would die. Hence he quit
the race. His decision to quit the race depicts Emotional Decision Making.

3. Scene 3 James Hunt influencing Nicky Lauda to race in the German Grand Prix
despite unfavourable weather conditions. Psychological concept depicted here is
Conformity Social Influence. (Scene at 1:03:00)

In this scene the drivers are going to race on one of the most dangerous tracks in F1. The
weather conditions are unfavourable. Nicky knows that there is life at risk in this race. He
calls for a meeting of all the drivers and tells them to cancel the race. James is not happy with
this proposal and tells that it is just another tactic used by Nicky to become the world
champion. James says that if the race is cancelled them no one will be even close to Nicky on
the points table. James influences Nicky to race and show his supremacy. There is a vote and
Nickys proposal to cancel the race is voted out. Due to this Nicky has to race. This depicts
compliance type of conformity social influence. In this type of influence a person may agree
to a viewpoint in public but disagree with it in private.

4. Scene 4 Nicky Lauda comes back to race after the fatal accident he had and tells
James that he is responsible in bringing Nicky back on track. Psychological concept
depicted here is Extrinsic Motivation. (Scene at 1:20:30)

In this scene Nicky comes back to the race track shortly after he faced a fatal accident. James
came to talk to Nicky. Nicky told him that watching Hunt win the races when he was fighting
for his life motivated him to come back to the tracks to race. This depicts the Extrinsic
Motivation of Nicky to beat Hunt and be a world champion.
Details of the disorder of the character, including the signs and symptoms apparent in the

The character James Hunt in the movie faced Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is a mental
disorder where people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for
admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a
fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Following are the symptoms and its apperent reference in the film:

1) Being envious of others and believing others envy you: In the movie James was
envious of Nicky when Nicky got a drive in Formula 1. He also felt that Nicky was
envious of him when he won races.

2) Requiring constant admiration: James was an attention seeker. The way he looked,
dressed, talked, partied etc. all gave him more admiration. When people surrounded
him after the race he feels the best.

3) Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others:

James did not care about others. He lived in his own world. Due to his inability and
unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of his wife his wife left him.

How has watching the movie contributed to your understanding of psychological disorders
and their treatment?

The movie was a great mix of emotion and passion. The single minded focus of James to win
the championship was great. Due to this movie I learned about the personality disorder that
James Hunt had. The portrayal of his character throughout the movie made the symptoms of
the disorder very clear. The treatment could have been consultation with a psychiatrist and
setting your priorities.