The Flying Scotsman (2006)

I hadn't heard anything about The Flying Scotsman, but when I read the DVD box about some cyclist that used washing machine parts in a bicycle and succeeded, I was curious enough to see what this was all about. It stars Johnny Lee Miller as Graeme Obree, a world class cyclist.

Obree is a Scottish amateur cyclist who decides to go after the world one hour distance record. This is not for the faint of heart as these guys in prime shape can go around 32 miles in one hour pedaling on their bike! In order to break the record, he needs a custom made bike. With some assistance, he gathers parts, including the ball bearings from his washing machine, and constructs a bike to take advantage of his unique cycling position. What makes it even more unbelievable is that he is up against teams that are using engineers and composite materials that are costing loads of money more. While he does break the record, it is bittersweet as his new record gets broken shortly thereafter by another.

To think that The Flying Scotsman is just another stand up and cheer sports movie would be a mistake. While it does have all the elements of this genre, it is also a story of one man's struggle against adversity, both from the cycling world, and from his bouts of depression. Reportedly, the film is based on Obree's autobiography.

While I enjoyed this film quite much, one difficulty was that the Scottish accents were a little thick, and I did need the subtitles on to get all of the dialogue. Even with that, The Flying Scotsman is an enjoyable film, and worth seeking out on DVD.

Overall Grade: A-

Reviewed by Jonas

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