I thought this was supposed to be a movie about Robert Kennedy. My first clue that it wasn’t came from the fact that Kennedy arrived on the scene of the Ambassador Hotel about 30 minutes before the movie was going to end. “Self-indulgent” comes to mind, but I don’t know that anyone’s self was indulged. The one man in the room with an interesting story, the one who inspired millions and may have altered the course of history if given a longer life, is still as little known to me now as a couple hours ago. I guess that I know by how much he won the California Primary. Hardly worthwhile.
Bobby (2006), written and directed by Emilio Estevez, is a movie about 1968. The moment, the people, the whatever. That’s a fine idea. 1968 was an incredible year for violence, emotion, race, politics, and chaos. I’m not sure the day in the Ambassador Hotel that Robert Kennedy was assassinated is really the vehicle to tell that story. That’s because that’s not what the movie’s about.
It’s really too bad because it was kind of a good movie. If it wasn’t about the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn’t have said “kind of.” There are…counting…giving up…a lot of stories going on here and they’re really well balanced. All of the actors involved—and it’s a huge all-star cast—do a great job. The only person that doesn’t get the time is Kennedy. Not until the end credits, anyway. We get little tastes of Kennedy throughout. But it was a tease. I just thought, “Man, I wish someone would do a movie about Bobby Kennedy, that’d be awesome.” Not the idea you want to inspire for a movie called Bobby.
So what were we supposed to get out of this movie? Maybe it was a metaphor for Robert Kennedy’s life. So much promise cut short by an assassin. I don’t think it was. Apparently, Estevez wanted to know about the people in the hotel. He saw pictures of people in the hotel and wondered who they were. Ugh. Different strokes, I guess. Some people care about that kind of stuff in history, but not me. Social history was never my interest. Obviously, most movies aren’t historical and they’re good or great, but the McGuffin is just too big in this movie for me to get over.
Otherwise, this is a very good movie. A little sappy, but good. Oh, and Joshua Jackson reminds me of George Clooney in this movie. You heard it here.