Tuesday, May 8


He saw wrong and tried to right it.
He saw suffering and tried to heal it.
He saw war and tried to stop it.

Set in the Ambassador Hotel on the day Robert F.Kennedy was assassinated, 'Bobby' is a fictional account based around 24 characters, who are in some way linked to RFK or the values which he stood for.

The ensemble cast includes, the hotel employees; Anthony Hopkins as the hotel's retired doorman. William H.Macy as the Hotel Manager and Sharon Stone as his beautician wife. Christian Slater as the Food and Beverage Manager and Laurence Fishburne, Freddy Rodriguez and Jacob Vargas as his employees and Heather Graham and Joy Bryant as switchboard operators. The visiting couples; Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood as a young couple opposed to the Vietnam war. Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore as married entertainers and, Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt as married socialites attending the RFK campaign party. Finally the young and hopeful; Joshua Jackson, Nick Cannon, Shia LaBeouf and Brian Geraghty as Kennedy campaign volunteers. Svetlana Metkina as a Czech reporter vying for an interview with RFK. Ashton Kutcher a hippie drug-dealer. And lastly, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a waitress.

Ashamedly, I don't know much about politics, let lone American politics. I did do History, so I have a vague understanding of what was going on in America at this time (Vietnam War, segregation, immigration etc). This vague understanding meant the film was a little slow for me at the beginning, but it didn't take long to grasp what was happening. Having said that, I do think that anyone with less knowledge than me on this subject would still be able to pick up the plot line. I also normally have a problem with ensemble casts, as the saying goes 'Too many cooks spoil the broth'. This was completely untrue for this film, however; the characters that needed depth and development were developed and the ones that didn't, weren't simple as that. I also liked that RFK was actually the main character, portrayed through the original Public Service Announcements and news reports of June 1968.

OK, so on to the large ensemble cast. Well, it may seem like a bit of a cop-out, but I thought the entire cast was excellent, even those I normally doubt (Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore and Sharon Stone). Each character's story represented a part of of American society during this time from the racist employer to the Mexican kitchen staff. All played perfectly. My only criticism is that the switchboard operators played by Heather Graham and Joy Bryant were completely expendable; they were good, but had they not been in the film I wouldn't have missed them.

Overall, I'd suggest that before watching 'Bobby' you should be aware that although the basis on which the film is set is accurate (time, date etc), the stories, however , are not factual representations of the people visiting the hotel on this day. I'd also suggest that you go into it with an open mind, meaning if you aren't a fan of Lohan/Moore/Stone/Slater/..., you give them a chance, they may surprise you. The underlying message in 'Bobby', is one of hope and belief in yourself and humanity, which can be easily applied to the current political climate as well as it can be to that of 1968. In RFK's own words;

"Men without hope, resigned to despair and oppression, do not make revolutions. It is when expectation replaces submission, when despair is touched with the awareness of possibility, that the forces of human desire and the passion for justice are unloosed.".

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