Saturday, December 02, 2006
The title misleads you into thinking this is a film about Bobby Kennedy. The film is actually about Kennedy's impact on an assortment of real and fictitious characters at the Ambassador Hotel on the day he is shot. An all star cast including Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, William H. Macy, Christian Slater, and Anthony Hopkins, just to name a few, play the various characters working or staying at the hotel on that historical day. In total, 22 recognizable actors worked for scale in this labor of love by writer/director, Emilio Estevez.
Estevez does a decent job blending fact and fiction, inserting many news clips of Kennedy into the story, rather than recreating the man himself (with the exception of a few back shots). The storytelling is ambitious with so many characters (including Estevez himself as Moore's husband and manager) but Estevez fails to develop some of them along the way. His overall effort though succeeds in entertaining and enlightening us as well.
Watching the film brings to mind, old disaster movies like "Airport" and "The Towering Inferno". Star studded affairs linked by a central theme. You care for some characters more than others and in this case, you know going in, who is sure to be killed. Kennedy's impact on this particular generation and the hope he represented reverberates throughout the film and when he is shot, you instantly feel that shattered moment. That message of hope, like that of Martin Luther King and JFK before him, lives on, to one day come to fruition.