Chappaquiddick (2018)

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Chappaquiddick

It must be Kennedy season. I am fascinated by the Kennedy family. CNN has been airing a special miniseries on the comedy the past few weeks, and its been enthralling. This film kind of snuck up but I was excited about it. I didn’t know a whole lot about the incident or the past of Senator Ted Kennedy, as he hasn’t really been the focus of much Kennedy coverage. The film is flawed and not always at its best, but powerful performances and wildly interesting subject matter keep the film afloat.

The film is based on the real life incident of the death of Mary Joe Kopechne and the events following. Basically, Mary Joe (a former secretary for Robert Kennedy), died when Ted Kennedy crashed the car they were in and the car flipped into the water. She dies, and the film follows the delayed reporting by Ted and how he had to deal with the follow up to the incident while trying to keep his hopes for running for president intact. Kate Mara plays Mary Joe and Jason Clarke  is Ted.

The film has slow passages in the latter half as it is slow and there seems to be little to cover. Jason Clarke is really good in this film, probably one of the best performances of his career. Its hard to really feel anything for Ted because he was a dope. His negligence and selfishness is a giant reason for Mary Joe’s death. Not even just from the car crash but for the fact that he was so slow in reporting the incident to the cops. Its pretty infuriating. You will feel that at the character in the film.

I think the film covers a really interesting truth in history and does well to educate those (like me), who didn’t know much about it. There’s nothing overly memorable about the delivery of the film or the plot procedure but I’m glad I got to see it. I’m a bit of a sucker for American based historical films so this is something I knew I had to see. Its somewhat forgettable but a reminder that Kennedys’ were marred with devastating news all around.

6.5/10

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