Cinema - The
World’s Fastest Indian (12A)
The World’s Fastest Indian is a ‘true’
film about a 72-year-old Kiwi, Burt Munro (played by Anthony
Hopkins) who lives out a dream by taking his souped-up motorbike
on a 7,000-mile journey to compete for the world land-speed
record in Utah. The year is 1967; the ‘Indian’
in question is his 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle. The beginning
of the film, set in New Zealand, is likeable. Hopkins’
eccentricity is highlighted early on when he urinates on his
lemon tree. We are given to know that this is a daily occurrence.
But we are left in no doubt that his heart is in the right
place. So his dream becomes important to us. We are happy
when he finds the money to make the trip.
Once Burt arrives in the States the film turns into a road
movie: the mawkometer gets pushed to max. He meets various
characters, even more eccentric than he is. There is a transvestite,
a used-car salesman, a randy widow and an American Indian.
Like Burt, they may be odd, but they possess a heart of gold,
and they help him on his way. Eventually he arrives at the
Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, ready to test out his bike,
and attempt to fulfil his lifelong dream. You end up sincerely
hoping that he will generate a bit more pace than the scriptwriter
of TWFI managed. This is a film about a trip that changed
a life: it is unlikely to have any significant effect on yours.