DVD of the Week – Review of Bobby (2006)
by RISHI AGRAWAL
I know I complain that in some weeks that very little comes out on DVD and that I have little to choose from. Often, I am forced to choose as my DVD pick of the week something mediocre or something I have not seen. This week there was only one major release on DVD. However, fortunately, Bobby is a movie that I have seen and enjoyed quite a bit. Though critics were lukewarm, this is a film that got nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globes, so I know I’m not the only person to like it.
Bobby is an ensemble drama directed by Emilio Estevez. It takes place at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles the night that Robert F. Kennedy was shot. The film looks at the lives of a diverse cross-section of people, from the old to the young, from hotel staff to campaign workers to guests. Practically everyone’s life in the hotel is touched by Kennedy in some way. Estevez makes a bold move by not casting anyone to play Kennedy, even though most of the action revolves around him. Estevez instead uses stock footage and actual speeches from Kennedy so his power is not lost.
The film paints Kennedy as a man who had the potential to be a great uniter in this country, someone who could actually make a change. And if the film makes missteps, then it is in the fact that the political message is so strong, almost overwhelming. But, I think the overwhelming message carries some power with it. Plus, I think the film does make a point about the folly of expecting one man to bring about great change. The power to change is within us. There is a lot of talk about ideology in this film, and I would highly recommend it for people who enjoy ensemble dramas and those who are interested in politics.
And, if you are still not convinced about the potential of the film, here is a partial cast list: Harry Belafonte, Emilio Estevez, Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, Elijah Wood.
The film is available in wide screen and full screen versions and seems to be bare bones. So, this is probably a rental, not a purchase.
Other new releases this week: Le Petit Lieutenant