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Posted October 1, 2010
A film for our times, for those times, and maybe all times, as human history is riddled with inefficient leadership. In a unusual biopic that really isn't a biopic, more of a star-studded hotel film with documentary footage, features twenty-two very different people but similar tensions as America was becoming unhinged. Intermittently, we never met Robert Kennedy in the film, but are introduced to the expectations of a more innocent and urgent age as young and old, rich and poor, Mexican, Anglo, and black, male and female rally around the most promising leader after King was killed. Unfortunately, for them (and us), the times and the seething mood were not ready for a second Kennedy coronation. I thought one item of this movie was interesting: everyone of them is desperate and they see Kennedy as a vulnerable one to pin their desperate hopes on until the fatal result.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Stories of racism, infidelity, aging, the effects of the Vietnam War, drugs: Why RFK's death was so impactful
BOBBY as written and directed (and starring) Emilio Estevez is not simply a recreation of the fateful night June 6, 1968 when Bobby Kennedy was shot, though that event is meticulously dissected as the sun dawns on Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel on that day. This film is a series of vignettes of the lives of many people (22 examples shine) whose hope for a better future than that of a country undergoing disintegration on many levels were shattered. It is about 'little people', people with choices whose responses to the death of a hero is devastating. Racism (Christian Slater vs Laurence Fishburne vs interaction with Freddy Rodríguez and Jacob Vargas) hippie/white collar drug abuse (Ashton Kutcher dealing LSD to Brian Geraghty and Shia LaBeouf, Demi Moore's alcoholism defeating her marriage to Emilio Estevez and career as a lounge singer) aging and the problems of 'useless old people' (Harry Belafonte and Anthony Hopkins) adultery (hotel manager William Macy married to beautician Sharon Stone yet having an affair with switchboard operator Heather Graham) marriages teetering on commercialism (Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt) young political aspirants basing futures on RFK (Joshua Jackson and Nick Cannon) and the extremes to which young men will go to avoid being sent to Vietnam (Elijah Wood and Lindsay Lohan) - these are the main characters we get to know as they prepare for the evening's party for RFK and then suffer the explosive effect of the shooting by Sirhan Sirhan (David Kobzantsev). The power of the film lies in the impact Bobby Kennedy had on all of these people who represent the rest of a nation. Estevez wisely uses film footage from life to project the speech and presence of RFK: using an actor to depict him would have made the effect less sharp. But in the end, as it seems apparent from Estevez' script, the power comes from the messages in the voice-over of Kennedy's own speeches, words to offer hope and a chance for resolution of the many conflicts that threatened to destroy the US. Would that there were minds with such thoughts speaking today when a leader is so desperately needed! The film has flaws (it would be difficult for a two hour enactment of a well known yet partially fictionalized incident not to). But the message is pungent and clear: we MUST care for each other as a country and forgo the alienation that is so rampant. A very fine film for thought. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.