Friday, August 19, 2022

The Mulligan: Movie Review



Religious wholesomeness for a simple story of redemption.

The Mulligan is a redemption drama. The story of an asshole businessman who has neglected his wife and son all in the pursuit of money and can’t handle it when his amateur golf game sucks. There’s a pervasive religious theme that eventually reveals the movie to be a religious moral about how finding god will make you a better person. Viewers be ware that it definitely gets preachy at times.   2022

Directed by: Michael O. Sajbel

Screenplay by: Randall Eldridge, Rick Eldridge, Roland Eldridge

Starring: Eric Close, Pat Boone

For the non-golfers, ‘mulligan’ originated as a golf term, a do-over of a poor shot, or in more general terms, a chance to correct a mistake. Mulligan is a fitting parable for an amateur golfer who learns that he can correct past mistakes in life, even if he didn’t recognize them as mistakes at the time. The film as a whole uses golf to tell a sickly sweet tale about Paul turning his life around and valuing the people who matter the most: his son, his wife, and his colleagues who have been with him from the beginning.

The opening scene is Paul McAllister (Eric Close) an amateur competing alongside pros in a charity tournament where he’s about to win it all. He’s presented as this underdog instantly getting the audience to root for him. And then the ‘it was all a dream’ switcheroo and you were just rooting for an asshole. He runs this really large corporation which he named after himself that looks like a cult with all the employees chanting his name and repeating meaningless work slogans. The film seems to be using that as an example of how successful he is; meanwhile, I’m wondering what this cult is hiding and if the FBI is aware, because that isn’t a normal business, that’s a cult.

It is a very simple movie, but also very uplifting and hopeful. I’m very anti-religious, so the insistence on using god to help your life, definitely rubs the wrong way, but there is still value in a cute movie with its heart in the right place saying it’s never too late to treat people better. Religious viewers are likely to enjoy this, those on the opposite spectrum are best to avoid it entirely.

Apart from its use of religion, The Mulligan has a very sweet and positive theme of redemption and Eric Close leading as Paul balances the villain-y in such a character with the genuineness when he recognizes where he has gone wrong in life. The golf setting presents a nice serenity to the film; It’s very light, wholesome and uplifting. It takes a really long time to get to the predictably positive outcome, but that’s also the game of golf.