Parkland: Review

Image from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2345112/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Parkland, released on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is a film that left me feeling as cold as the November weather outside.
I fully understand why Hollywood has a slight obsession with the Kennedy’s. It’s a colourful, glamorous era in American history and politics, surrounded by myth and intrigue. Unfortunately, there’s very little of the above in Parkland.
Rather than go down the all too familiar route of exploring conspiracy theories and investigative procedures that took place around this assassination, the film instead focuses on a number of different characters, most of which are real and are in someway or other effected by this terrible event.
It’s admirable what this film is trying to do, tell us a different story to the one we already know and I have no problem what so ever that this film isn’t a thriller. In fact, a similar film made by Emilio Estevez of all people, Bobby, which was released in 2006 and dealt with various people’s experiences on the day of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, is a film that at the time I really enjoyed and is overall done very well. This isn’t.

Now before I come off sounding like I really despised Parkland, here’s the good. it’s directed well, the performances are all fine and there are one or two great moments such as the actual death of Kennedy and a scene soon after where his casket has to be carried and forced through a plane door which I felt were great bits of cinema. It’s just I wanted more of these moments.

Actually, running at a brisk ninety or so minutes, Parkland is one of those rare examples where I wish a film could have been longer so as to get some actual character development and maybe a bit more of a story too.

The clear issue with the film is it’s narrative however. It just didn’t work for me at all. There are so many individual stories going on that by the time you’ve become enthralled in one, you’re immediately thrown into another, making it difficult for me to invest any attention into the plot. That’s a shame because some of the actual stories, such as the family of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and how their life was affected by these events, showed signs that it warranted a whole film to itself.

By the end of Parkland, I felt confused as to what it was trying to achieve, bewildered as to why it attracted such a strong cast who were just wasted and overall disappointed that for the most part I felt nothing except slightly sleepy.

Save yourself the money and re-watch JFK instead.

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