“Chappaquiddick” stars Jason Clarke, Kate Mara, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan, and Taylor Nichols. Released on April 6, 2018, the film is about Ted Kennedy who finds his political career in jeopardy when he left the young campaign strategist to die alone in an accident.
The film is directed by John Curran, who also directed films such as Praise, The Painted Veil, Stone, and Tracks. The Kennedy family has been remembered by everybody for their series of historical events, with the most shocking one being the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. But there’s one event that really put the family name to the test, and that was the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident. There have been several types of media that showcases John F. Kennedy and the 1963 assassination, but there hasn’t been one that chronicles the Chappaquiddick incident until now. This will be my first experience with this event since I’ve only known the Kennedys through the John F. Kennedy chronicles, but I am still going to be reviewing it as a film because you know, they like to Hollywood-ized real-life events from time to time.
-The performances from the cast were top notch from start to finish, with Clarke and Dern being the main highlights as Ted Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., respectively.
-John Curran's direction was decent.
-The cinematography and costume designs worked wonders in portraying the late 1960s.
-The pacing moves at a pretty slow rate, especially during the first half of the film. I nearly fell asleep a couple of times after the first incident sequence.
-The story has plenty of interesting moments, but there were some scenes that weren’t investing enough to overshadow the pacing.
Final thoughts: “Chappaquiddick” showcases Ted Kennedy’s downfall with some middling results. The performances and Curran’s understanding of the situation were nicely portrayed, but the pacing and its rough narrative may leave some people in cold, shallow waters. It was an interesting representation of the controversial incident. I just wish that it didn’t try to put me to sleep when I’m exhausted. If you’re familiar with the Chappaquiddick incident or have lived through it, this film is worth looking at unless you were at the verge of falling asleep.