Fast Lane

“Fast Lane” is inspired by a real case that devastated the city of Melbourne in 1994. Two boys walked onto a freeway overpass, each with an armful of rocks from a garden bed. One had allegedly said to the other, “Let’s throw rocks at cars.” One rock slammed its way through the windscreen of a car driven by Dr. Malcolm Goodall, killing him instantly.

During the boys’ murder trial, Dr. Goodall’s widow repeatedly pushed for leniency in sentencing, believing the boys had suffered enough through their personal guilt. Her public forgiveness broke everyone’s heart, and the boys were released unsentenced. Society could not help but collectively share her grief and questions over responsibility.

When I was scripting Fast Lane, a friend of mine said he had gone to school with those boys. I asked him what they were like, and he told me he remembered them as just normal guys. After it happened, however, that all changed. I thought about that a lot while making the film.

This story is about the kind of skirting with death our teenage boys do everyday. All teenagers take risks. We were all capable of doing what those two young men did in 1994. We take risks that ignore consequences, or only consider them after the fact.

Risks, however, are not fun upon looking back. From police stations. From funerals. From hospital. Oftentimes, they are not even fun when looking back from the safety of home, as the sickening guilt kicks in, and the realisation of how close you came to disaster, like Ash in “Fast Lane.”

Grant Scicluna