The World's Longest-lasting Smile

March 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The World’s Fastest Indian

Just a quick note to anyone who needs some refueling, or who simply loves to smile (who doesn’t?) while watching a movie that is not a comedy.

I just finished watching the last hour or so of a movie titled “The World’s Fastest Indian“. Having missed the beginning, I can nonetheless tell you that it is based on the true story of New Zealander Burt Munro who, in 1967, set a land speed record on an Indian motorcycle (one initially built in the 20s, which he modified for the task with unparalleled ingenuity and dedication).

The movie’s sense of life is wonderful. Burt (Anthony Hopkins) has little money to his name, he earns his passage to the USA by working as ship’s chef. Spending little, working hard, and relentlessly pursuing his dream of beating 200 MpH on his bike, he eventually makes it to speed week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, only to learn that – unbeknowst to him – he was supposed to have registered over a month earlier.

I don’t want to spoil the movie because it is just too valuable to waste (don’t go googling for spoilers…this one’s a rare gem: protect its value by remaining as ignorant of it as possible until you watch it). Suffice it to say that I had a smile of intense happiness on my face for almost the entire part of it that I did catch and, at several points, my eyes welled up with tears of joy (ahem: I didn’t let any fall).

If you hunger for a movie that embraces the world and the rational pursuit of ones own happiness in it, this is one movie you will not want to miss. I should add, in this connection: I almost did. The movie, apparently, was released in 2005. I would say “better late than never”, but that would wrongly imply that seeing it earlier would have made the experience better. The truth is that I will be buying this film on DVD, and I’ll be watching it several more times over the remainder of my life. If you truly love your life, I suspect you will too.