Generation gaps. Mention the names Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick to a Boomer and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. This millennial sees posters for Chappaquiddick and says huh? I only even know the name Ted Kennedy from having lived in Massachusetts, but this story was completely foreign to me.
To catch up the rest of us young’uns, Chappaquiddick is an island in Massachusetts. Not long after the death of Bobby Kennedy, Ted Kennedy was at a gathering on this island with some friends and family. Long story short, he ends up driving off a bridge with one of Bobby’s young secretaries, resulting in her death. Let’s just say he doesn’t handle it too well.
The actual events of that night are still a mystery, and the controversy has clouded his legacy. The film depicts an interpretation of the story, then shows Kennedy stumbling to establish exactly what his version of the story is. For me, I found the majority of his actions deplorable and it made it difficult to get into this movie.
Actually, from the beginning of the film, I didn’t like him. He came off as selfish and arrogant and elitist. Those unfortunate prosthetics weren’t doing actor Jason Clarke any favors either. From there, even decision he made caused me to like him even less. Then bring in the lawyers and fixers that work for his dad, and I was completely lost (as far as support, not attention, tho that was dwindling too).
What made it even harder for me to get behind him was that Ed Helms played a supporting character that I was behind. For one, I always love seeing comedic actors play dramatic, and he did it rather well. His character was the one I did have sympathy for, and the way he was treated by Kennedy created a further rift for me with this film.
I think the story was ultimately an interesting one, I just didn’t enjoy watching it. I guess it also didn’t help that I’d left my crock pot running at home and started worrying that I’d maybe put it on the high setting by mistake. Crisis averted. My chicken was fine. The movie, less so.
Chappaquiddick – \m/ \m/