The film does not play out like your typical biopic. Instead of setting up the character early on, Senna jumps right into the action, starting with his rookie season in F1. Over the course of the movie, the film backtracks and touches on his childhood and family, but it barely scratches the surface of his personal relationships, or his off-track interests and hobbies. Even so, you still feel that you come to understand the man beneath the helmet, the man named "Senna".
But ultimately, Senna is a film about motor sports, and that's where most of the energy goes. We are greeted with great lengths of archival footage from races and interviews featuring our guy. Director Asif Kapadia does a marvelous job stitching everything together, and creating something that feels like a Hollywood feature instead of a biography. But thanks to the tapes, you get that wonderful feeling of nostalgia, of a different time, a different era, when things were more dangerous, more exciting, but people were still people, and racing was still racing.
A must watch for all sports fans, but even those with disdain for the genre can find a fascinating character portrayal here that is WELL worth their time.