“That’s yourself your talking about dad.”
Though somewhat generic in concept Jason Connery’s Tommy’s Honour proves that the difference lies in the details.
Old Tom Morris, a pioneer in the game of golf, works as the master groundskeeper at St. Andrews in Scotland. It is there that Tom makes a name for himself as a talented golfer, understanding the game and its needs. Thanks to his life on the course his son Young Tom Morris, or Tommy, also takes to the sport. But unlike his father Tommy strives for more, pushing boundaries as he looks to take his game to London.
It is at this point in the film that we transition from a sports drama to an in-depth character study that digs into the relationship between a father and son as each learns to listen, respect and appreciate one another.
The overarching theme is a cinematic tradition as stubborn, hard-nosed, stern parent forces conflict on his young, headstrong, stubborn son. But unlike sports dramas before it, Tommy’s Honour doesn’t rely on the sport to drive the conflict - just natural human action and reaction.
As Tommy navigates through a game where his own natural talent far surpasses his father’s, it is ultimately his bucking of the system that causes the most friction - though running off with an impure woman with a troubled past doesn’t help the situation. Every action off the course provides complications to decisions that are made on, and in a time when everyone caters to society norms, Tommy’s refusal has a lasting effect on his family and the game in which his father has helped to create.
Much like the sport it centers around the film does get lost within itself at times as Connery focuses so much on the details, forgetting to entertain those watching on. The sluggish dialogue and uneventful routine of the Morris family can send you into a tranquil state. But don’t get comfortable as you will quickly find yourself ripped out when tragedy strikes - if the drinking, swearing and occasional fight along the fairway hasn’t already accomplished that.
Following in line with the sport, this film will either speak to you or not - there is little room in the middle. The season is ripe for a film such as Tommy’s Honour, just be prepared to give it some time to fully develop. The story seems a bit ordinary but the triumph and heartbreak will make you appreciate the value of life, family and sport.