Reviewed by: Eric Schmidt
|Featuring||Matt Damon, Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Bruce McGill, Dermot Crowley|
|Producer||Jake Eberts, Michael Nozik, Robert Redford|
“The Legend Of Bagger Vance” plays onscreen like a soft, peaceful symphony. I say this because it does not, refreshingly, rely on profanity or violence to get across its message. It is full of hidden aphorisms conveyed by Bagger Vance (Will Smith) to the golfer (Matt Damon).
“Bagger Vance”, a Depression-era movie, tells the story of Rannulph Judah (Matt Damon), who was the most predominant golfer in the South before leaving his girlfriend Adele (Charlize Theron) and his game to enlist in World War I. He returns to his hometown of Savannah, Georgia shell-shocked, with golf the furthest thing from his mind. One day, however, Adele, confronted by officials who want to build over her grandfather’s golf course (after he shot himself), promises that there will be a big-money golfing tournament held in Savannah in which famed golfers Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen will compete against each other. In need of a representative from Savannah to play in the tournament, the town selects Judah.
Judah, while practicing his game one night in a field, is confronted by Bagger Vance, who seems to “appear out of nowhere”. Vance agrees to be Judah’s caddie, commenting that his swing needs a lot of work. (Judah really got out of touch with his game during the years he was apart from it.) In the two days during which the tournament is held, Judah receives a wealth of life’s lessons from his caddie, who is much more than he seems.
Some scenes in this movie which may offend are where Judan explains to the young narrator of the story what happens to you when you drink, and where Adele tries, to no avail, to have sex with Judah so that he will compete in the tournament (No skin is shown, but the fact that there is a child pretending to be asleep in the room where this happends may be a concern.) For these reasons, I would not recommend showing this film to anybody younger than age 13. However, there is little profanity.
I have heard many complaints from Christians who feel that Bagger Vance’s character represents some radical new religious movement. I consider him to be nothing of the sort. If you watch the movie closely, you may come to the conclusion that Bagger Vance is Judah’s own guardian angel. A nice touch.
Many Christian morals can be found within this film. For instance, Judah helps a boy learn to have respect for his street-sweeping father, who could not find any other work to do in this Depression era drama. Towards the end of the movie, Judah shows honesty by admitting to the tournament judges that he accidentally moved his ball, even though this move cost him the win.
What a movie! This film deserves to win a place in your home collection. It most certainly will mine.