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  Publicity Stills of "Bobby"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Drama
Director: Emilio Estevez
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Christian Slater, Helen Hunt, Laurence Fishburne, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Martin Sheen, Elijah Wood, Sharon Stone, Freddy Rodriguez, Nick Cannon, Emilio Estevez, Shia LaBeouf, Jacob Vargas, Brian Geraghty, Joshua Jackson, Joy Bryant, Svetlana Metkina, Kip Pardue
RunTime: 1 hr 56 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: NC-16
Official Website: http://www.bobby-the-movie.com/

Soundtrack: ACCESS "BOBBY" Soundtrack Review

Opening Day: 25 January 2007

Synopsis :

'Bobby' revisits the night Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968. With an incredible ensemble cast portraying fictionalized characters from a cross-section of America, the film follows 22 individuals who are all at the hotel for different purposes but share the common thread of anticipating Kennedy's arrival at the primary election night party, which would change their lives forever.

Movie Review:

Here we have another drama about people, about how different lives intersect in the most amazing and coincidental ways.

Think you have seen this somewhere before? Yes, Paul Haggis’ Crash (2004) interweaved several stories in Los Angeles to create an uplifting drama about racism in America. Todd Field’s Little Children (2006) brings four lonely urbanites together to tell a depressing story about breaking free. And Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Babel (2006) stretches across three countries to bring a powerful human drama to life.

Director Emilio Estevez outdoes all of them and manages to narrate the tales of not 10, not 20, but a whopping grand total of 22 people in this movie. And his characters do not go further than the premises of a hotel. To add impact to the plot, U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy will cross these people’s paths in a way they’d never have imagined.

Interspersed by archive footage of the assassinated candidate, this emotional drama takes a look at how 22 vastly different characters lived on the fateful day of 6 June 1968. Rekindled hope, shattered dreams, uncontrollable angst and new optimism are just some of the sentiments that bring these people together in the movie.

These are engagingly enacted on screen by its respectable ensemble of cast which includes the always reliable Sir Anthony Hopkins as an ageing reputable hotel manager, the youthful Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood as a hopeful engaged couple, Helen Hunt and Martin Sheen as an old couple looking for new sparks in their lives, Sharon Stone and William H. Macy as a sad dysfunctional couple and Demi Moore and Estevez himself as a failed couple who cannot face each other to trash out their problems.

Individuals include the always upright Laurence Fishburne as a noble kitchen staff, the very likeable Freddy Rodriguez as a racially conflicted employee and the unrecognizable Ashton Kutcher as a cool hippie.

Really, it is an amazing cast which any director would die for.

But this might also be the problem of this 116-minute feature which attempts to deal with too many storylines at one go. The unbalanced storytelling fails to engage the viewers fully, despite the wonderful performances by the actors. In the end, the relationship developments are unable to come across effectively, with the intertwining stories happening on screen with mere passing-by moments.

That one flaw aside, this picture still gets credit for going the extra mile to bring out themes of unnecessary violence and bloodshed in contemporary times. This is aided by the poignant historical footages of the deceased senator and his countrywide campaigns.

The appropriate score by Mark Isham (Crash, The Black Dahlia) and the unflinching cinematography by Michael Barrett (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Goal!) also help to enhance the viewing experience.

As we already know, everyone loves a well-meaning movie like this. It is no wonder that Estevez was awarded with a Biografilm Award at the Venice Film Festival last year.

Despite the ambitious uneven development of characters, you will still enjoy this movie, especially during its final sequence where the inevitable happens. You’d hear the delivery of Kennedy’s speech which affectingly draws this sincere production to a close.

That is where you realize how human race has sadly not progressed since those turbulent years of 1960s.

Movie Rating:

(A good-natured drama with a wonderful ensemble that needs you to overlook its flaws)

Review by John Li


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