Movie Review – JFK

Posted: June 2, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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Some films are for entertainment and some are for education. JFK is education, pure education. I have many times wondered how the same dry topic covered in school could become interesting when projected on screen. The education I’ve got out of movie is certainly more than my 18 years of studies. History is one subject I loathed during my school days. Not that I like other subject. I have general aversion for studies. Not the usual aversion. I hate the site of books. I hate studying.


Let me keep my confession part out and come to the review. JFK is one of the best courtroom dramas I have ever seen. The last one hour is enough to give an Oscar to Kevin Costner. But never has Oscar been given to such a class subdued act. It wasn’t even nominated. Thanks to the conspiracy. The films impact was tremendous at the time of its release.

The film boasts an impressive star cast with the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Kevin Beacon and my favorite Joe Pesci. Almost anyone could have played the role of Kevin Costner as the district attorney. It wouldn’t have changed the impact much. That much is the strength of the script. Making a 200 minute movie is no small thing. Audience might easily get bored. Such a taut political thriller is very rarely made.

New Orleans District Attorney Jim right from the first suspects the murder of JFK. But his claims are blown down by people around him and he doesn’t have necessary support to continue with his investigation. After 3 years though he still thinks about the conspiracy he doesn’t really mind. After a confrontation he suddenly becomes aware of the conspiracy behind the murder. He starts assembling a team and yields to the urge of finding out the true motive behind the murder.

At first he is highly successful but as time goes by he checks out the evidences who were asked to be dumb and also meets a military chief from whom he gathers enough information to prove that JFK murder is indeed a nationwide conspiracy. Though none are ready to be tested and his team disintegrates along with a deteriorating family he keeps his tempo up and goes for a kill. The final few minutes are largely dramatic especially the magic bullet sequence.

Kevin Costner who was subtle till then shows why he is a class act. The emotion overriding his conscience is beautifully shown. He tries to keep in check his emotions while presenting the case because that’s how much he has struggled to prove. It’s not even a David slaying Goliath. It is bigger than that. He’s a David slaying an entire Goliath race. One man fighting against the entire nation. He himself says to the jurors that he wouldn’t like to be in their shoes at that time.

I was shocked to discover so many things when I watched this movie. I don’t know how far it is true. I can’t dig deep into that. I need another movie to explain the conspiracy of this conspiracy. Nevertheless the journey to unravel the truth was impressive. I could sense his tension, his restlessness, his eagerness to let the world know the truth. He made us live with him.

One more thing I liked in the film is their family. Though it was typical it was cute to watch. With a nagging wife and loving children it’s tough for a man to really think about what he wants. I could feel his despair. Even during fights he doesn’t reply her instead talks about Kennedy, has dreams about him. Her wife goes so far and accuses him that he’s pinning down Clay Shaw only because he’s a homosexual. Only then he replies to her and it becomes a fight.

I expected the film to be about the assassination of JFK instead it was about the aftermath. I loved it as I knew I was in for a surprise. The film was slow to build but gradually grew on me and provided an ever lasting impact. Oliver Stone had already impressed me enough with his Platoon. It’s one of the best war movies I have ever watched. With JFK the respect for him has gone one notch up. Salute!


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