movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

a day in the life of... way too many people

BOBBY is the story of the day the Robert Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel. The whole country was affected by his death, but this film is a look at a very specific cross section of individuals, what they were doing, and how it affected them at that moment in their lives.
The first thing that should be mentioned when talking about Emilio Estevez’s new film, BOBBY, is the cast that he put together. I know it is a long list, but here are some of the actors that have significant roles in the film:

Harry Belafonte, Nick Cannon, Emilio Estevez, Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, Lindsey Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, Jacob Vargas, and Elijah Wood.

How is that for a list?
The cast is my first problem with the film. I am a fan of most of these actors and they are good here, but there are so many recognizable faces that it completely takes away from any story that might be going on. Every few minutes I was taken out with “Is that so and so?” or “I didn’t know ___________ was in this movie!”. When you have a cast of all people that you know from other things, it makes it nearly impossible to let them become the characters in your mind. It is simply distracting.

Another thing that bothered me about BOBBY was the fact that there were far too many story lines. The story is about the day of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and how it affected not only the world, but more specifically a select group of people that were there that day. With so many stories (I lost count) most of them don’t feel like they are there for any other reason than to just fill space and drag out the running time. I found only two or three of the stories to be at all interesting or engaging. Most didn’t have much of a point besides setting up people just to show their reaction to the assassination. BOBBY felt like a series on sub-plots strung together as an excuse for a film.
The most interesting and captivating part of the film was the actual footage of Kennedy and the speeches that they play. All this movie made me want is to do is watch a movie ABOUT Bobby and not about random people in the Ambassador Hotel. He was a fascinating person with great aspirations for this country and its future. Who knows what would have happened if his life was not tragically cut short. Could he have changed the world the way that the country hoped he would? His life and tragic death is a great and fascinating story and would be a fantastic film. BOBBY is not that film. It seems like someone made that film, then took out all of the sub-plots and strung them together, leaving out the main story and the result was BOBBY.
Don’t get me wrong… There are many good things about this film. The acting (as I mentioned) is for the most part very strong, and technically it is a very well put together film. The photography (by Michael Barrett) is simple and effective, but beautiful, capturing the time and the mood very well. The editing, production design and the costume design are all first rate, making this a very watchable movie and fairly compelling on a visual level. And as far as Mr. Estevez, this is a pretty well directed movie as well. He juggles multiple (way too many in my opinion) storylines with grace. The shot selection is dynamic and not over the top as it might be in the hand of another filmmaker. This is a movie that is contained within a hotel and it is still kinetic and visceral.
The main fault with BOBBY is the focus (or lack there of) of the script and the story. There is no story here and the most frustrating part is that there is an amazing story right there in front of them that they choose to primarily ignore. I only assume that the reason that BOBBY is not actually about Bobby is due to financial restrictions, but that is no excuse for the mess that they were left with.

A primary example is Kennedy’s speech at the end of the film. All that was needed was to play the actual speech from the day, but instead, Estevez chose to do a montage of all the stories cut to a Simon and Garfunkel song. I was immediately taken out of the movie and was focused on the great song that was playing and thinking about the far superior film (THE GRADUATE) that made that song famous. It is the climax of the film and the last place I want to be is with the cast. I just want to be with Bobby and listen to what he was saying.


Blogger Amelia said...

I agree with your review and do also finds that this movie didn't actually worked very well. After watching the first half I decided to quit this movie as I didn't liked it much. Thanks for sharing the review.
Watch Bobby Online

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