Movie Review : The Playbook




I thought long and hard before writing this review. I went into the cinema knowing only that it was an Australian movie and, as you all know, I am a great supporter of local productions and try to see as many as I can. When I realised it was a religious/ faith movie, I was tempted to leave because it is just not for me. But I had watched and absolutely loved Emilio Estevez’s faith movie The Way (you can read my review here) so figured I would be a hypocrite to leave this one after just a few minutes. And so I stayed….

The movie centres around a devoted father and husband who is the local basketball coach. He also runs a local marine business and is clearly a pillar of the small, coastal community. He has 3 children and his eldest son, at 15 or so is pushing the boundaries… all kids that age tend to do. The family is a devoutly Christian family and all the young man wants is to be allowed to go out with his friends. His father is worried that the clash of youth venturing into the world and his devout upbringing will collide…..with faith losing out.

An unthinkable tragedy besets the family and the father wrestles with his own demons. He shuts out everyone, including his wife and children, refuses to coach the basketball team anymore and basically rages internally with his heart full of hatred. He does what any normal human being would do. He cannot forgive.

Gradually though, he starts to come around and agrees to coach the team again. The rest of the movie concentrates on overcoming adversity and forgiveness.

So what did I think?

This movie was touted as touching and moving and I found it to be neither. The use of religious content was overbearing and truly awkward at times. Of course, this is a faith movie so its to be expected that someone’s faith is to be tested. I get that. But there were scenes when the bible was quoted or a discussion ensued about faith when it was so absolutely irrelevant for the scene that it was almost unbearable to watch.

The teenage son was not trusted, on any level, by his father. We can’t keep our kids locked up forever and hide them from the temptations of the world….. we just have to hope we have raised them to make wise choices.

To the movie’s credit, the tragedy did not occur as expected and if I was in that same position, I know I would react the same way. But again, the cloying religious overtones ruined any feeling I had for the grieving family.

At the point when the playbook of the title was handed to the basketball team and it not only included basketball plays but religious quotes as well……thats when it lost me entirely. In no team, other than perhaps a team from a religious school, would it be acceptable to do such a thing. No team. Anywhere in Australia.

As I said at the start, I thought hard about even writing this review….. but here it is. I wanted nothing more than to find something, anything good about this Aussie indie movie but alas, I cannot. I will however congratulate all involved for your obvious hard work and more power to the Aussie movie industry.

Love Flick x


Director : Darran Scott

Starring :  Mick Preston, Kath Gordon, Dennis Coard, Harry Borland, Lauren Clair, Lloyd Edwards, Oliver Bates

Release Date : In Selected Cinemas Now


One comment on “Movie Review : The Playbook

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