This afternoon I have viewed one of the greatest motion picture experiences ever, and it was on Netflix. The film is Seven Days in Utopia and it features my old Buddy Robert Duvall. Robert is a Christian and he has made sure in his last several movies that decency, meekness, testing, redemption and faith get centre stage (The Apostle, Open Range and now Utopia).
A young golfer named Luke, being pushed toward the professional tour by his well-intentioned Father, suffers a major meltdown on the 18th hole of a televised event. His embarrassment is bound to follow him. In a cloud of dust he drives away onto obscure Texas back-roads and almost has a collision with a broken free bull outside the little burg of Utopia, population three hundred and something.
He crashes through a fence owned by the proprietor of the local golf course, a man named Johnny (Duvall) and a survivor of a turbulent past including the links. Johnny challenges Luke to stay for seven days and to re-master his game, and perhaps his life. Techniques will be anything but conventional. One day the old boy writes in marker on a golf ball the letters SFT. “See, Feel, Trust”.
The stage is set for the young man to encounter the heart’s issues and purposes much more satisfying than the winners’ circle on well-groomed turf. An opportunity arises astonishingly for Luke to compete in the Texas Open. And old enemies and bad memories get the treatment.
Then with the end of the movie comes a surprise and a link.