Friday, September 30, 2005

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Mark Frost has adapted his novel The Greatest Game Ever Played, to a screen play of the same name produced by Disney. It's the story of how a 20-year-old golf amateur beat British champion Harry Vardon at the 1913 American Open.

It's a very American movie, meritocracy good, aristocracy bad. The movie drives that point home like a punch that repositions your nose. To top it off the reporter covering the story is named Darwin, subtle touch that. Now don't get me wrong, I prefer living in a meritocracy over living in an aristocracy I just don't get all sentimental about it. At least the movie takes a critical look at both American and British aristocracies.

I really enjoyed how the mental aspect of the game was worked in. There are dramatic visualizations showing us how the players tune out the world around them and focus on the hole while fighting their mental daemons. In fact the visualization of the game is one of the strongest parts of the movie. A video game that combined the mental aspect of the game and followed the ball the way it was shown in the Greatest Game Ever Played just might live up to that title, at least for the the golf genera.

Other than those two points the movie is about what you'd expect from a Disney sports movie set in 1913. Underdog takes on champion, wins the girl. There some genuine humor and very touching moments. It would work as a non chick flick date movie if your date is a sports fan.

You can read other reviews at Rotten Tomatoes

Disclosure: I was given two free tickets to see the movie.

- Peace

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