The Greatest Game Ever Played movie review
The Greatest Game Ever Played is sure to hit a hole-in-one into your heart whether or not you are a fan of golf. The “underdog” storyline is sure to capture viewers’ attention in different ways than audiences have experienced before.
Based on a true story, the movie follows Francis Ouimet, who has dreamed of becoming a golfer since he was a young boy. We see his transformation from a beaten poor caddy who can’t afford to dream to a young man who shocks the world in the 1913 US Open, where he competes against his childhood idol, Harry Vardon.
In truth, the movie is about transcending class barriers. Throughout the movie, Francis is consistently put down or laughed at because of his social standing. His father, who is against his dream of golfing, tells him that the only reason Francis has been allowed to play is for the purpose of entertainment and ridicule. His two veteran competitors, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, are not portrayed as the “villains” of the movie. Rather, they recognize and respect the young man’s talent despite his working class background.
Shia LaBeouf does a marvelous job as Francis Ouimet, bringing to light both the successes and disappointments. In fact, what I love most about this movie is that Francis suffers many missed shots before he tastes victory. LaBeouf’s expressions perfectly convey what thoughts go through his character’s mind as the world hold its breath in anticipation, watching the ball slowly roll towards the hole. Lightening up the movie is Francis’ 10-year-old caddy, Eddie Lowery, played by Josh Flitter. He steals every scene with his wisecrack encouragements and his heartwarming, unwavering faith in Francis.
The cinematography is spot-on with interesting camera shots that follow the ball soaring through the air and landing in the hole. The musical score is memorable and matches the build of anticipation. There are interesting graphics as well that help keep track of the score, for all the golf fanatics out there. The running theme of conquering a sport despite all odds of age, class, or race, is one of the most common plots in movies, but The Greatest Game Ever Played makes the “David and Goliath” storyline fresh and moving for all ages.