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“THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE ” *DIRECTED BY ROBERT REDFORD!~~~MOVIE REVIEW

An out pouring of emotion swept over me after watching this movie.  I am deeply touched.  Robert Redford has always touched me in a emotional way ever since I saw him in a movie with Barbara Striesand when I was a young girl. 

 Can you remember the movie that they both starred in?  It was a movie about a young woman and man who could never seem to get their relationship to click for one reason or another.  There was a song,  Memories…that I would play on the piano.

  Anyway…let me tell you,  Robert Redford has not lost his touch.  Robert Redford is not given the due respect that he deserves.  I am truly touched by this movie,  “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”  I had been watching this movie tonight with my mother.  She watched it the night before with my son.  I had no idea this movie was about the “game of golf.” 

 I was pulled to watch the movie when I was in Best Buy the other day.  The price of the movie was a bargin….$6.99!!  So I turned over the package that it was in a saw Will Smith,  and Mat Damon.  Two actors that I enjoy watching in movies. 

 I thought…this must be okay.  My son tried to put it away… I said NO!  I was right.  I also think my son was deeply touched by this movie.  You see,  my son  just started playing golf this summer.  I have been trying to get him to find his “CENTER”  when he plays golf. 

 The movie addressed the feeling of being “PART OF THE FIELD”—the movie portrayed a man that had suffered pain;  and a sense of great loss and failure as a  World War I Vet and the redemption of his soul from a barren place deep within himself.  The lead character was Junna,  Captain Junna, ( played by Mat Damon).  

 The premise of the movie is that when Junna had been a young man,  as young as 16 years old,  he had been extremely talented in golf.  He was heralded  as a stellar player,  even to the point of hitting a golf ball so far that the game had to be stopped for twenty minutes in order to measure the distance of the hit.

  He had gone to war and returned a “broken man.”  He became somewhat of a recluse and stayed a away from the “home town debutante that he loved.”  However,  after the Great Depression came,  the  debutante’s father had completed building a golf course. 

 Despite the beauty of the new golf course in Savanna Georgia,  no one came and  it appeared that the debutantes father would loose on his investment.  Hence forth he shoots himself.  Thus his daughter had the towns men attempting to have her sell the  golf course and cut her losses.  However,  being strong willed,  she decided to fight.  She decided to have a golf tournment.  The tournament was to be played by two well known men.

  However, the men of Savannah wanted a native Savannah player to also play in this $10,000.00 golf tournament.  A young boy who had been following the old newspaper articles about Junna suggested him.  Many people did not believe that he would play.  But the little boy had a strong belief that he would be able to get Junna to play. 

 He ran from the town hall meeting with a shout from a elder man who stated,  “Run with WINGED SANDALS ON YOUR FEET!!” The young boy finds Junna playing cards with some men late at night.  However the boy was not afraid.  He simply explained himself.  Junna told him that he would not play. 

 However, when Junna left the building that he had been playing cards in and entered his house he found the towns men standing in his living room. They also requested him to play in the $10,000.00 tournament.  He flatly told them no. 

 They left,  but the little boy,  (who is played by Jack Lemon(((in his later years))),  –another stellar actor who has always touched my heart—)  fell asleep on a chair in Junna’s house. Suddenly the wind blew the curtians in Junna’s living room and his love —   the debutante stood in his living room and inquired as to why he would not play.

  Mat Damon, ” Junna” replied….”I have lost my Swing.”   The young x-love of his tried to presuade him by attempting to use her kiss.  However, he did not change his mind. 

Later that night, he went outside of his house and began swinging into the night.  He began hitting one golf ball after another into the dark.  He had two lights on either side.  Suddenly a man approached from the darkness.   Enter,  Will Smith as Bagger Vance.  Wow,  Will Smith never ceases to amaze me!  He is beyond stellar. 

 His approach to his character was thoughtful.  He played such a role as to give rise to tears from me!  The words,  and the low key approach almost made chills go up my spine.  I know this is not a recent movie.  But this movie was right on time. 

 It was not a movie just about playing golf,  but anyone could appreciate the message within it. Robert Redford took a simple  concept of “play the game…not to win…but just to play it”—and broadened it to life and how to live it.  How to come back from depression,  from loss,  from regret,  and begin again, and find your place in the field.

  Will Smith’s character takes Mat Damon ( who is visibly over come by his past in the war, and his regrets into playing golf and overcoming his loss will to enjoy life for itself.  Bagger Vance spoke softly and quietly to the spirit of Junna and enveloped him into the spirit of the world around him,  made him listen to nature, and the earth and recapture his swing. 

 In the end Bagger Vance left Junna the same way he came to him….in the dark, yet truly seeing the light of his growth mentally,  emotionally,  spiritually,  and also truly playing the game of LIFE all over again. 

 The little boy grows up to be (Jack Lemon),  who narates the movie,  and appears to die on the golf course as an elder man,  and then he gets up and walks to the horizon where Bagger Vance his biding him to come.  So touching,  the tale of human growth through adversity and heartache….

The movie was playing again, while I slept earlier this evening, and as I awoke I observed the ending I was again touched by the attitude of humble, simple life  wisdom of Bagger Vance.   At one point,  it appeared that Junna’s golf ball and gotten hit into the trees,  This was a turning point for him and the movie. 

 He looked at the ball laying on the dead leaves inside the woods and suddenly his mind took him back to the war and the loss.  He nearly picked up the ball,  possibly to get it out of that enviornment that had brought back those haunting memoiries.  However,  Bagger Vance asked him, “Do you want another club?” 

 That shocked him, “Junna” back to reality.  Junna began to sweat and tell Bagger Vance that he could not do it.  Bagger Vance gave him that simple quiet wisdom and stated an even deeper assurance,  ” I have never left you…almost in a God like way…spiritual. 

 Suddenly Junna hit the ball out of the trees to the amazement of his audience that had been waiting just outside the trees during the tournament. 

This was such a touching moment.  The music was just right as well.

Go rent or buy this movie.  Very touching,  very loving,  very compassionate for those who have lost and want to get “their swing back.”

~riveroflifelisajoy

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