Saturday, July 29, 2006

The World’s Fastest Indian


If you love motorcycles, you'll love The World's Fastest Indian

"You live more in five minutes on a bike than some people live in their lifetime," says Burt Munro (played by Anthony Hopkins) in one of the very best ‘biker movies’ of all time. The World’s Fastest Indian is based on the real life story of Burt Munro, and his lifelong devotion to the pursuit of speed on two wheels. Forget current day Hayabusas and ZZR1400s with their mega-powerful engines, sticky tyres and powerful brakes. Munro, from New Zealand, wants to go to the US and do 200mph (320km/h) at the Bonneville Salt Flats. On his weedy old 1920s Indian Scout. The tyres are finished, the brakes barely work and Munro’s riding gear comprises, among other things, of trousers tucked into socks and an old pair of canvas shoes. The sheer audacity of it all – a man in his 60s, on a shoestring budget, and suffering from a heart ailment, wanting to do this high speed stuff – is heartening. And uplifting.

There is some brilliant acting from Hopkins, who does an absolutely wonderful job of playing Munro. The journey from a remote town in New Zealand, all the way to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats, is an amazing one. The difficulties which Munro faces and the way he overcomes those. The various interesting characters he meets in America. And finally, how his courage and self-conviction are appreciated and the way people help him along – it’s all very well depicted in the film. And when he finally does run his bike at Bonneville and crosses the 200mph mark, you want to stand up and cheer for the old man.

Beg, borrow or steal a DVD, but whatever you do, just watch this film. It makes you believe in the power of dreams once more. It makes you believe in the power of the human spirit. Awesome movie!

Here's a trailer from the film


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