I highly recommend Bobby. It was basically two movies in one, and each was equally well-crafted and touching. The first was a valentine to Bobby Kennedy, showing what he stood for and his effect on others as a statesman. It’s hard to ignore the obvious comparison to the current war in Iraq, but the point of this movie isn’t just anti-war, it’s highly pro-America, and that makes it come off as patriotic, not rebellious. The second (and more prevalent) movie was an ensemble piece about the lives of several ordinary citizens whose only connection, it seems, is their presence at the Ambassador Hotel on the night of the California Democratic Primary.

For me, not knowing much about this time in history or the specifics of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, the movie had a surprising conclusion. Yet even without knowing why the movie unfolded as it did, or knowing who the characters were, I still found that it drew me in and held my attention. For other viewers, the ending will obviously be much more expected; however, I think the movie developed its ensemble so well, it doesn’t matter if you’re familiar with the assassination or not. You know that “the ship is going to sink,” to use a typical metaphor, so it’s the burden of the filmmaker (writer-director Emilio Estevez) to make it interesting nonetheless. Estevez succeeds.

One of the most shocking choices in the film was the casting of Bobby Kennedy: He plays himself. Most scenes of the title character use archive footage of the man himself. Kennedy is obviously a necessary character in the film, but the point is his true effect on others, so there’s no need for an impersonator.

Regardless of your familiarity with Bobby Kennedy or your personal politics, I think this movie is an important piece for every American. It’s a historical piece, but it also reminds us about the American dream and our values–both personal and national.

11:50 pm Reviews Comments Off on “Bobby” Wins

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