Chappaquiddick (2017)

Director: John Curran
Starring: Jason Clarke, Kate Mara,Bruce Dern. USA.

Jason Clarke impresses as the last Kennedy whose reputation sank along with the demise of a young supporter in murky mystery.

The history of the Kennedys and their prominence in the hearts of the American public as they rose to new heights of the country’s political area. But after the demise of Bobby and and Joe Jr, everything landed on the shoulders of Ted. This is all mapped out in Chappaquiddick, attentively directed byChappaquiddick (2018). The writing was all down to Allen and Logan, a screenplay not adapted from any specific research as no one knows what actually happened. But this becomes part of the point. But Chappaquiddick isn’t all about the facts from this fateful night, it’s microscopic lense is pointed at the Kennedy’s behaviour during the turmoil, and eventually turns it’s analytical finger at the audience and makes you question what you would do with such a powerful network at your disposal and a presidency at risk.

Named after the island where Mary Jo Kopechne drowned at the bottom of a pond, Jason Clark plays a weak senator who’s unmistakably involved in some shadowy goings on that same evening, but through his family connections, parental pressure and learned behaviour he comes across as being a strong and powerful man. In the heat of the summer, with the wife at home, Kennedy heads out for a weekend party with the boiler room girls at Martha’s Vineyard, the Apollo 11 is about to land on the moon and Kopechne (Mara) is sending out all the right signals…

Over the years many conspiracy theories have cropped up about what happened, from premeditated murder, aliens and Atlantis, but the film sets up the scene of an boozy accident and a panicked and useless man rushing around his spin team hoping that everything goes away.

The bulk of the movie is between Kennedy and the audience, for the most part he wants to admit what happened and be a decent honest person but from time to time the pendulum swings the other way and he’s trying to secure the young ladies body, to cover things up and he is seen as a s total scumbag. The internal pain of wanting to be the fall and the pressure from Kenney Sr, played by Bruce Dern, a self righteousness monster whose face is locked in eternal disappointment after his stroke which seems to terrify Ted more than being strung up by the raging mob who want his blood to find out what really happened.

While the film doesn’t uncover this, it’s a poignant insight into what we know and what we can educated guess happened. but even without any revelation and disclosure it’s a strange and interesting snipped of American political history that is often overlooked but this vibrant insight will only encourage more investigation.

Rating: 6/10

R:Frost/Nixon (2008)

L: American History  Vol.1,President Films,

5S:Jason Clarke, Bruce Dern


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