These days, some political dramas don’t really need Oliver Stone or Steven Spielberg to retell the truth about corruption in the past. We can sometimes rely on other filmmakers or Indie distributors to entertain us.

And as far as I’m concerned half the people know the stories, so they probably wouldn’t bother seeing them, and half the people would still go to see if they’re accurate or embellished.

This is the true story about Senator Ted Kennedy getting in a car accident off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island. He comes out alive, but the passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, his brother’s former secretary, drowns to death. He tries and fails to save her, and even worse, he leaves from the scene of the crime, and the next day, the police find the car and the girl’s body.

At first, for the sake of his career, he intends to embellish the truth by saying Mary was the driver, but his conscience gets to him, and he decides to tell the truth.

Jason Clarke is gripping as Ted, and his acting here convinces me he really is in turmoil.

The cast also features Ed Helms and Jim Gaffigan as Ted’s lawyers, who advise him to report it before the police do; Kate Mara as Mary Jo Kopechne; and Bruce Dern plays Ted’s father Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr, who suffers from aphasia, while learning about his son’s troubles. The acting here is impressive and smart.

Director John Curran shows us Ted’s point of view with his negligence and ambitions that become impossible to overcome. This is a bad case for Kennedy, and the big and small points make the situation even worse. Again, even small time movies can help remind movie goers what happened back then, and why those events had to occur.

I may have gotten lost with some things (losing some of my interests) but I was mostly hooked with the film’s narration, acting (kudos to Clarke, Mara, Helms, Gaffigan, and Dern), political risks, and filming locations.

If not Oscars, one day “Chappaquiddick” will be shown in History classes of any high school or college. It really is informative.


Categories: Drama, History

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