The World's Fastest Indian

I spent the day killing time in the city today while the my Element undergone it's 30,000 mile maintenance. Had breakfast at my favorite dive diner and sat and read for about an hour or so (currently reading Jonathan Franzen's collection of essays titled "How to Be Alone") then went and rummaged through the Elliot Bay Book Company for an hour or so before wrapping up the morning at the Seattle Public Library. There I found several books and a DVD on the Danube River and surrounding areas to do a little background reading before our trip in June.

After a brief Thai lunch with Kristin, I walked over to my favorite music store and picked up the Matisyahu and Nine Black Alps albums. Then I finally got to the highlight of my day, seeing the incredible independent movie starring Anthony Hopkins titled "The World's Fastest Indian". It was awesome.

The movie takes place in the 1960's and is based on the true story of Burt Munro, the elder New Zealander who spends 25 years of his life making home-brew improvements to a 1920's Indian-brand motorcycle. He then scrounges up the money to somehow sail to California and make the trip to Utah's legendary Bonneville Salt Flats. His dream has always been to set the land speed record on a motorcycle and this is his chance, as he's certainly not long for this world.

Hopkins was brilliant and much like the other recent Kiwi-centric film, "Whalerider", watching this film was pure enjoyment. Munro's tremendous spirit and determination, the kindness of strangers, the joy and thrill of speed, all made for a wonderfully-spent two hours in which I felt myself wearing a smile virtually nonstop. And even a tear or two of joy and relief.

I will be sure to be making this movie a part of my collection when it releases on DVD. And while it is only garnering an acceptable 77% approval at, it just seems that too many of the reviewers have too short of an attention span, as the naysayers complain about lack of action. I'll agree that for a movie about motorcycle speed records, there are few adrenaline-pumping moments. But so what? I could have watched Hopkins' portrayal of Munro's journey to stardom if it had taken twice as long. I loved it.

Official movie site with trailers.

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