Movie Review | 'Golf in the Kingdom'
Fellowship of the Links
By NEIL GENZLINGER
Golf may be the world’s dullest spectator sport, not counting soccer: it takes a long time for not much to happen. By that standard, “Golf in the Kingdom” captures the game perfectly.
The film, Susan Streitfeld’s adaptation of Michael Murphy’s 1972 novel, will probably draw the same love-it-or-hate-it response the book has: either it’s a brilliant merger of golf and philosophy, or it’s a collection of windy New Age nonsense about a sport played mostly by rich people.
Mason Gamble portrays Mr. Murphy, who on his way to India stops in Scotland. He ends up playing a round of golf with Shivas Irons (David O’Hara), a mysterious fellow with a knack for spinning pithy-sounding phrases that, if examined in any depth, really aren’t. He also mingles with some golf-playing locals and goes on a predawn hunt for Shivas’s mentor (segments so underlighted that you might as well close your eyes).
Everyone spouts nicely turned baloney elevating golf to the level of a religious experience, which grows tedious fairly quickly. The film almost works, though, if you view the whole thing as a very, very dry comedy.
Whoops. Times Does Not Adore Golf in the Kingdom
It's a pan, not a praise. Yes, new age golf movies are an acquired taste.