A definition of a heartwarming film, The World’s Fastest Indian is a unique experience. Especially since it is based on true events. I mean, fuck me, this is a small story of epic proportions. The tagline could be: chase your fucking dreams, no matter what! Directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bounty, Cadillac Man, Species, Dante’s Peak) and starring magnificent Anthony Hopkins this is a story about a man and his motorcycle. If you told me that I would be this fascinated with a movie essentially about motorcycles, I wouldn’t believe you.
The World’s Fastest Indian never tries to be preachy or pretentious. It’s here to tell a story and that’s it. And the way it goes about it is just so easygoing and disarming that you will have no choice but to follow it. It’s like the ghost of real Burt Munro was watching them on set and directing the whole thing. Anthony was phenomenal, totally immersed in the character and without his usual antics. This is above all an adventure movie and one last hurrah of the old guard. The guys who didn’t really care about safety or risks involved and just went for it.
Invercargill is a small town located in New Zealand and it would remain that if there wasn’t for one man. Burt Munro is a speed bike racer, known for setting many speed records for motorcycles. He and his heavily modified Indian Scout bike have been through it all and although people are generally very positive towards him and his easygoing personality. His latest mission is to travel to Bonneville in the USA in an effort to break another record. Will he make it is up to you to find out.
Although this isn’t some big blockbuster with a huge budget, the cinematography was beautiful. From New Zealand to those Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, everything looked just stunning. Through all this visual pleasure, the human will emerges. It emerges as a reminder to all those who are stuck in a loop that life is worth living. It’s worth living if you’re willing to follow your dreams, otherwise, you will have to battle your demons. I just loved the idea of this old man who doesn’t care about rules or what’s appropriate for a man “of his age”.
He just goes for it with this childish enthusiasm and you can see that it’s feeding him this incredible energy and motivation. And all this is presented to us in this passive way, without much tampering with our emotions. So, we can fully immerse ourselves in the story and its impact on us. Do not let the slower pace of this movie deter you from watching, because after fifteen minutes you will be fully into it. And when the credits roll you will be left yearning for more. Hidalgo feels like a similar movie, although it’s much more assertive. And if you’re looking for similar Movies About Driving, check out Sorcerer.
Director: Roger Donaldson
Writer: Roger Donaldson
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Craig Hall, Iain Rea, Charles Pierard, Alison Bruce, Antony Starr
Fun Facts: Burt Munro’s children visited the set one day, when, according to director Roger Donaldson, “Tony (Anthony Hopkins) was having a particularly good Burt day”. His performance was so authentic that it moved them to tears