Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"The World's Fastest Indian" (2005) - Movie Review

“The World’s Fastest Indian” has an irritating slow pick up. Once it sets a control of its fin up, it is a lovable film. Roger Donaldson does not start with the “based on true story” tag and lets the fiction mingle with the real adventures of the old Burt Munro in the 60s. Anthony Hopkins plays the kiwi man traveling from a small town of Invercargill City of New Zealand. He is the movie old man having that neighbour sweet kid as most of the films do and that part of the film is sappy and a over dramatized music by J. Peter Robinson which turns good later took my finger almost to the stop button of the DVD remote.

When Burt Munro sets up to head out for United States to venture his life time ambition of speeding in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, it gets better and then a little better more when the road trip meets some good people and pinnacles at its best in the final speeding of the old 1920 Indian Motorcycle. Nothing much than a loner and man a heart beat away from the door steps of death but with an obsession for perfecting his ride is how we see Munro. We do not know his past but the passion for speeding is good enough to take this film to its destination.

He lands in the busy city of Los Angeles in the late sixties US and begins to work around his way in the sudden change of place. He is nice, busy and relentlessly shrewd. He is the squirrel eating the fruit hurriedly with a cuteness very much belonging there. He befriends every one he meets and warns not to smoke. In between he pops pills for his chest pain ready to give another heart attack. Much of it is the driven man standing in the wide spread salt land of his dream as every sports motivation film would have. The title gives away the ending and it is nothing much of a spoiler. As always it is the journey that counts to the end.

The nice people we meet are really the nice people. They do not glee through their extended lips but a genuine smile for this old man. More than that is the affection Munro draws from this people. The affection which does not come as sympathy but an appreciation for the personality Munro projects. The greatest thing about Munro the film shows has him liking of two great reasons. He does not complaint and he does not give condescension filled advice. Man of his age would have seen the life in the prism of mistakes, regrets and love. Those are the reminiscence expected out of a character but Hopkins gives the man of passion.

I began the film with spite and ended with nothing but love for the film. The old man’s journey has previously been taken with more emotional and touching style by David Lynch in “The Straight Story”. Out there the journey is for a regret to be settled forever by a brother to another brother meeting the same kind of people what Munro meets. Both the cases, the integrity of these two men make the people to respect them more for that than their old age.

The measure of success of a human life is the strength and endurance they push apart from the rest of their species physically while young and mentally throughout the life span. The success though is a relative term is more personal. For Munro beating the speed is a thrill of seeing that window of being light, thin and extraordinary all within himself. For some it would be the tip of the mountain, a forehand to win and shot to clear the skies. The life’s passion rests in that perfect moment which makes you realize why you do what you do. Despite that many years of unacknowledged voices and fallen breaths in the darkness of the unnoticed, a passionate person in his glory days looks back those times. Not because to scale of their accomplishments of where they are and how they were but that is the time when those personalities were in complete harmony with themselves. In the midst of climbing the success ladder some miss it. Some remain in the darkness and cherish it forever and either way that personal nick of time is the true measure of their success. Burt Munro did those speeding for himself and in that lightening quickness he lived that moment again and again.

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