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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Bobby » User review

Bobby - 2006

  • Jul 21, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Pros: incredible cast, great music, good script and a story of heartbreak

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
"For those we lose before their time,
I pray their souls will find a light
I know that the day will surely come, when it will be done"
~Adams

I had forgotten the anger and mistrust that covered our Nation during the 1960-1970 era but a recent viewing of Bobby, written and directed by Emilio Estevez brought it all back with a vengeance. The movie, although certainly centered around the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, deals more with the perimeter people on that fateful day. The movie received 16 nominations, winning 3, and is rated R for drug content, language, and a violent scene.

The man who would be king …
Whatever your political feelings, one must still be touched in some way about the loss of both Jack and Bobby Kennedy. There seemed such promise, they seemed to genuinely care about ‘us’, the people in the trenches. Perhaps it was all political B.S., we certainly were never given the opportunity to discover the truth or lies ourselves because both men were taken away.

With the movie, Bobby, we are shown the lives and stories of about 25 people that crossed paths and were either guests or employees at the Ambassador Hotel on the night RFK was killed. Each one had a small but discernable part in the overall plan. Many of their stories overlapped, all were geared to one goal … the nomination of RFK for president.

The weight of the combined actors is incredible: Harry Belafonte, Nick Cannon, Emilio Estevez, Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, Elijah Wood, Brian Geraghty, Shia LeBeouf, Jacob Vargas, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Svetlana Metkina … and I’m sure I missed a few.

There is an actor credited with the part of RFK but, surprisingly, he receives no screen time. Any reference to Kennedy was done through archival news footage, interviews, campaign speeches, and photographs. There are some wonderful photos of him throughout as well as a beautiful display at the end, accompanied by an incredible performance by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige, joined by the Boys Choir of Harlem, as they sing an original piece by Bran Adams, “Never Gonna Break My Faith”.

What is more important is the ideal behind this movie, the dreams. Estevez stated on the extras that he had been gearing up for this movie his entire life since Bobby was killed and remembers meeting him as a small child and being mesmerized by him. He worked over five years getting this film into production and he was blessed by an incredible cast, original music by Mark Isham, and wonderful cinematography by Michael Barrett.

Just as word finally came through that the project could be undertaken, it was learned that the Ambassador Hotel was going to be demolished. Estevez begged, and was given permission, to film some shots at the hotel, including entry into the pantry where Kennedy was shot. It’s appropriate, don’t you think, that the final bow for the Ambassador should pay homage to Kennedy, or maybe ironic. They were also able to purchase a good deal of furniture and mementos from the hotel, using them in the movie.

Although we know how the story ends, it is the complex but simple overlaying stories, all happening at the same time, that make this a story that is real. It was the high school couple, just friends really, marrying so he won’t have to go to Vietnam; the alcoholic performer and her well-kept husband; the hairdresser married to the hotel manager; the bigoted kitchen supervisor; the lowly busboy; the campaign volunteers experiencing LSD for the first time … all of these stories and more come to a head in that pantry on June 5, 1968.

This was a devastating time in my life, well, in most lives during this period. So any wasted lives; Medgar Evers, JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., RFK … so many important people that could have changed so much in our society.

DVD extras include: “Bobby: The Making Of An American” epic featurette. This is well worth the watch as so much background information is given as well as the performance by Franklin & Blige. Also included is “Eyewitness Accounts From The Ambassador Hotel” which has a panel of real people that were present that night, including a doctor, that recount the experience. I had wished for more from this but what little was given was heartfelt and informative.

Thanks,
Susi

P.S. I just have to, once again, give kudos to William H. Macy - not one but two women in this film: his wife, the hairdresser, Sharon Stone, and his lover, the switchboard operator, Heather Graham.  He must have a remarkable contract negotiator. 

Recommended:
Yes

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More Bobby reviews
review by . April 29, 2009
I only got this movie because of the all-star cast. Having lived through the events I didn't feel the movie would do it justice but I was wrong. The movie uses all real footage of the events leading up to June 4, 1968 and focuses on the hotel on that fateful day. It is basically like the movie "Crash" and has many different stories going on at once inside the hotel where Kennedy's victory party and shooting took place. Like Crash the stories come together when the Senator is shot just after he makes …
review by . June 12, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I only got this movie because of the all-star cast. Having lived through the events I didn't feel the movie would do it justice but I was wrong. The movie uses all real footage of the events leading up to June 4, 1968 and focuses on the hotel on that fateful day. It is basically like the movie "Crash" and has many different stories going on at once inside the hotel where Kennedy's victory party and shooting took place. Like Crash the stories come together when the Senator is shot just after he makes …
review by . April 11, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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Susi Dawson ()
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In the final quarter or so ofBobby, writer-director-actor Emilio Estevez finally starts tightening his grip on the viewer as we head inexorably toward the film's climax: the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen. In the course of these scenes--among them Kennedy's acceptance speech after winning the California Democratic presidential primary (the senator is seen only in file footage), his death at the hands of gunman Sirhan Sirhan, and the chaos and despair that ensued--Estevez steadily ratchets up the sense of tension and dread. Knowing exactly what's coming, while the characters onscreen don't, is excruciating, as is our grief at hearing RFK's own words, so eloquent, so hopeful and inspiring, as we watch the horrible events unfold and wonder what might have been (sure it's manipulative--but it works). But the rest ofBobbyisn't nearly as compelling. Nor is it really about Kennedy, despite its obvious adulation of the man whom many thought would defeat Richard Nixon in the '68 general election. In the tradition of, say, an Irwin Allen disaster flick, we're invited into the lives of nearly two dozen folks, most of them at least partly fictional, who were at the Ambassador Hotel that June day, including guests, staff (kitchen workers, switchboard operators, management, etc.), campaign workers, reporters, and more. There are lots of movie stars in the cast, and some of them (Sharon Stone, Helen Hunt, William ...
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