ArjunaArjuna Krishna-Das

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Reviews > Movies >

 

The Legend of Bagger Vance

2001

 
   
I have to warn you: there isn't a great deal of plot to give away about this movie. It's set in 1930's depression-era Georgia (or somewhere pretty close), and follows the fortunes of R. Junuh (Matt Damon), a young local golf hero and war vetran, drowning his demons in drink. He becomes essential to a tournament designed to rally the fortunes of his former girlfriend (Charlize Theron)'s golf course, and is encouraged and advised by a mysterious caddy, Bagger Vance (Will Smith). Err... that's about it.

The interesting thing about this film (for non-golfers, this is it) is that it's kind-of inspired by the Bhagavad-Gita. In this case though, 'Sri Bhagavan''s instructions don't move a long way beyond enigmatic smiles, and advice to 'find your swing'. So, if that's what's interested you about the movie, don't a) bother or b) be too disapointed at its lacklustre interpretation. Basically this is a film about golf, not the Bhagavad-Gita, although you could stretch the point a little to say that, on one level it is about self-realization.

 
   

On the bright side, this is a nice and inspiring movie about an alcoholic who regains his life, with the obligitory Hollywood romance. It's well-played, well-filmed and the soundtrack isn't bad, mostly a matter of orchestrating the all-too-predictable ups and downs of the contest. There's some really beautiful landscapes. But it's very very boring.

If you are very old (with doctors instructions not to do anything too exciting), a keen golf fanatic, or possibly an alcoholic war vetran then it's possible that you will like this movie. For the rest of us though, you might like to keep in mind my own suta for movies: If there isn't a car chase, it's generally not worth watching.

 

 

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