Slash Guitar Page




Film Review: Bobby

At first thought, an actor with a resume such as Emilio Estevez’s seemed under-qualified to create and carry a movie such as Bobby. Surely a movie about the assassination of Senator Robert F Kennedy during his presidential campaign would have such political and social awareness, that Estevez would be out of his league. He’s the jock in The Breakfast Club, the lovesick student in St. Elmo’s Fire. Need I even bring up The Mighty Ducks?

He should have remembered his famous pedigree, though. His father, Martin Sheen, has played numerous presidents, including both RFK and JFK. It seems some of that ideology has rubbed off on Estevez, as he wrote, directed, and starred in this movie that reflects the ideology of an entire era. The hypothetical lives of everyone at the Ambassador Hotel when Senator Kennedy was shot are explored, from campaign workers, to food service, to a young couple getting married.

Estevez casts family, friends, and even an ex, and despite the nepotism, the casting is exact, if not even being stretched to be typecasting. The most humorous of the cast is Demi Moore, Estevez’s ex-fiance, as Las Vegas has-been, and himself as her long-suffering husband. Freud would’ve loved that one. And it doesn’t end there. In addition, Moore ’s present husband, Ashton Kutcher, is cast as a drug dealer selling some young campaign workers their first acid trip, then getting busted.

More interesting still, is not just that these people were cast, but that they did it for next to nothing. All the big name actors in this movie, Sharon Stone, William H Macy, Christian Slater, Anthony Hopkins, worked for scale, and for good reason. Estevez did a lot to develop these characters. While we meet so many different characters in the first ten minutes of the movie without any history attached to them, it looked to be confusing. Yet they all became very distinct personalities, with a huge role in what went on in that hotel that evening.

Everyone is looking for hope, and entwined by their idealistic views of the future. Macy’s character comes off so self-righteous, firing Slater for being a racist and not letting the mostly Latino kitchen staff leave to go vote. Yet, it’s also the same Macy character that is having an affair with Heather Graham, a hotel operator, behind the back of his wife, salon owner, Stone. Even worse, despite the fact that it’s 1968, Macy fires off a list to Stone on who and what she should vote for, as if she can’t think for herself.

Lindsay Lohan’s character is getting married to a male friend from school. She tells Stone over a manicure, she’s not marrying for love or money, just to save a life, as her groom, Elijah Wood, is about to enter the service, and she wants to save him from going to the front lines of the war. Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt appear in the film as a couple that aren’t sure of themselves as people, but very sure of themselves as a couple. In the beginning of the day she thinks the worst thing of the trip has happened when she forgets to pack her black shoes, but by the end of the evening, she certainly has a different view.

Perhaps the character with the most ideology is that of the food service worker, Freddy Rodriguez, who still believes there’s a good life waiting for him, despite the fact Slater keeps scheduling him for double shifts, Jacob Vargas telling him that because they‘re “Mexicans” they’ll always get the short end of the stick, and Laurence Fishburne assuring him some day he’ll have his due.

I don’t have to worry about blowing the ending for anyone here, as everyone that passed eighth grade history knows what happened on the night of June 4, 1968. Yet, it seems to me the message Estevez is trying to impart is that while Bobby Kennedy died that night, all those supporters survived. The symbol of their hope may have died, but their hope lived on.

For more on pop, culture, and entertainment, visit Hollywood Inisder.






SLASH GUITAR PAGE
 

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     Slash Guitar Page was last updated in 26/03/03     - We're back! Sorry for making you wait for 3 months (!!) but we're experiencing some big
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     Slash Guitar Page previous updated - 7/12/02         - Added the info of Mark Ooi (from Singapore) on the Fans! section!
 
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