Review this movie
Jul 18, 2011With biopics, it is not easy to captivate audiences especially with the predictability factor coming into play. But this movie tackles this problem pretty well and manages to impress albeit a little. This is a feel good movie that initially staggers but manages to stand up on its feet and comes above the average mark. The direction and unexpectedly the visual effects stand out among other aspects. The movie runs about rudderless in the first half due to what i conclude as poor writing. The scenes seem disconnected from each other and the proceedings don't seems to make sense (i mean why would a golf association president bother persuading a store janitor to take up golf, especially after he refuses initially). The movie comes very close to going off the cliff but the the cast and director manage to hold the attention. The movie has a British flavor to it. Midway, the movie sets a background of an ongoing rivalry between the British and the American golfers. Giving the rivalry a friendly tone but not losing the competitiveness is a tough job and the script manages this beautifully. This is the point where i think the script finds its ground and gives the movie a new hope and direction.
Shia LaBeouf seems a natural and gives a fitting performance for his slightly decentralized role as American peasant class golfer Francis Ouimet. Sharing the spotlight with him is Stephen Dillane who gives the most memorable performance. He plays the role of the legendary British golfer with a poor background Harry Vardon lured into the rat race by the ever elusive social status. He is haunted by 4 men wearing top hats who had put an un-erasable ghostly impression on him in his childhood. It clearly shows that having a strong theatre background certainly helps. It is worth noting that both these characters are from under privileged homes with Vardon already reaching the peak of his career while Ouimet following the footsteps of his rival cum idol. Other supporting actors play out their parts in a commendable manner. I especially liked Eddie, the young "smarter than age" caddie played by Josh Flitter.
I didn't know squat about golfing but i tried learning about it before watching this one. Fortunately the movie doesn't dwell deep into the technicalities of golfing. Although you wont be at a disadvantage if you don't understand golf but the movie will be more enjoyable if you do know the basics. The special effects deserve well... a 'special' mention. The game has been beautifully showcased with the boredom factor almost eliminated by the inspiring effects. It was what kept me going all the time. Each time the golf ball is driven, we are treated with a different angle or perspective followed by a montage which skip past the length and width of the game. The background score only adds to the thrill.
The movie, in its entirety, could have been much more than what it is. Anyhow, the movie at its core is about dreaming big and going after the dream irrespective of what others think of you. Both the central characters Apart from the starting hiccups, the movie plays out fine without being over-dramatic. But if you are looking for a movie with some inspiration, this may not be the ideal choice.… Expand
About overcoming adversity and one's innermost fears. On this count, Paxton hits the ball squarely in capturing the psychology of his characters, but hooks it into the sand trap of effects and thematic overselling.