Anyone who is anyone in the motor-sport world knows about the Isle of Man TT. For those in the know, the TT – or Tourist Trophy – is the pinnacle of racing, the most dangerous and challenging road circuit in the world. Rarely a year goes by when someone isn’t killed: every rider knows that each race might be his or her last. Now for the very first time director Richard De Aragues brings us TT3D: Closer to the Edge, a film that will touch and impress many film-goers – not just the petrol heads – for its remarkable human interest story, and not least of all, its heart.
At the film’s centre, we have the “People’s Champion” Guy Martin. Martin is one of life’s genuine eccentric characters – a lovable rogue with a unique take on life that viewers won’t fail to find both genuine and strangely charming. A lorry mechanic by day, it’s Martin’s dream to win the TT, and we follow him as he obsessively builds up to the 2010 TT.
Of course while Martin is the undoubted star of the film there are a number of other key players in the Closer to the Edge story. Motorsport fans will be pleased to see cameos from the likes of “King of the Mountain” John McGuinness, and the softly spoken but highly talented Ian Hutchinson, who quietly works his way to the forefront of the extraordinary TT story.
It’s in its spotlights of the many characters of the racing world that we find the real strength of the film. While Closer to the Edge will undoubtedly excite thrill-seekers with its high-octane racing, and remarkable camera-work, it’s in telling the human story that the film really excels.
We meet for example Bridget Dobbs, widow of TT star Paul “Dobsy” Dobbs, who accepts with remarkably equanimity that her husband, like many others, died living his dream doing the thing he loved the most in life. We also meet the man responsible for making the engines riders like Guy Martin use to power themselves around the TT track. In one particularly heart-felt scene he even describes himself as a “drug dealer” or sorts, where he considers his role in producing the engines that ultimately power some riders to their deaths.
There is then an awful lot more to Closer to the Edge than just adrenalin-fuelled, high-speed racing action. Closer to the Edge is a film of heart – a film of more depth and character than most film-goers will come to expect. As such I highly recommend this film to anyone, not just the motorsport fans out there. While the purists may well criticise the film for perhaps not including enough of racing legends such as John McGuinness, and the new-born star Ian Hutchinson, even the hard-core motorsport fans will forgive the film its flaws for creating what is in essence, a powerful and enthralling story, encapsulating all it is to be a rider, literally putting his or her life on the line, in one of the most dangerous races in the world, the Isle of Man TT.