AroView: Feelgood drama with a core of goodhearted Kiwi common sense and realism, this relates the true story of Invercargill legend Burt Munro (Hopkins), who modified a 1920s ‘Indian’ motorcycle in his back shed to transform it into an incredibly fast machine, which in the 1960s he rode to break several speed records at the Bonneville salt flats in the USA.
A labour of love for director Roger Donaldson (who knew Munro and made a documentary on him in the 1970s), this charts the progress of the oddball petrolhead from casting his own pistons out of melted sewer pipes, on the long road to America: raising the cash, dealing with quirky American characters and even being possibly stopped from racing because of the ‘number 8 wire’ condition of his bike (eg. a brandy cork for a petrol cap). Even though the story is simple, even inconsequential at times, this manages to create a uniquely charming portrait of a plucky pensioner: an unmistakable New Zealand hero.
Topping the movie off a series of race scenes which are adrenaline-inducing and also provide a palpable sense of Munro’s against-the-odds achievement. Note: the film has now become the highest-grossing local film within New Zealand.