After I finished watching this movie, I asked myself: "How could this be?" I was so compelled and surprised that I started to shiver. This flick is easily one of the best and most talked about of the 90's, and probably of all time. When watching this movie, it makes you think how has history being forced to be written, and how the people that have the power have the strength to cover their wrong doings. But most of all, how does it affect our lives.Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner in one of his few good roles) is a District Attorney in New Orleans; he is shocked when one of his aides tells him that President Kennedy is shot. The day goes on, Kennedy's dead, and they arrest Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) just about an hour later (surprising isn't it?). Knowing through the TV that Oswald had contacts in New Orleans, Garrison tries to find out who they were, and eventually they end up with David Ferrie (Joe Pecsi in one of his best roles), who tells them nothing but a few suspected lies, he is turned into the FBI, but is released later in the night, while in the course of the day, Oswald gets shot dead by Jack Ruby. Garrison ceases the case until three years later, after finding out through friends in the government and by reading all the volumes of the Warren Commission, that thereís a "glitch" in the case. He finally roars for being asleep for three years and launches the investigation, which leads to several interviews with people in Dallas, friends of Ferrie and Oswald and all the way to the Mystery Man, Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones in another superb role).
"Let Justice Be Done, Though The Heavens Fall"
I have to give a hands-down to the acting and the directing, which were excellent, but most of all, to cinematography and editing. The editing was perfect, and thanks to it, the movie explains its parts smoothly. The cinematography helps because in most of the scenes, it gives you the moods, and the types of atmospheres of the scenery, the characters, everything. The cinematography in this movie complies with the very basic definitions of motion pictures, which is a story told in pictures, and you can see that thanks to the different camera angles that are shown in one simple scene. It never bores, in fact, it adds up to the mystery of the assassination, and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Now, some of the information in the movie may not be all that accurate, but that doesn't matter, since the point of the movie is to tell you in a sort of in-your-face way that, there was a conspiracy against JFK, that there was a fourth shot and a second or more riflemen, and the government was involved in it somehow. And they had to be involved, because if you read through history, Vietnam exploded, if not expanded into an almost full war in which the U.S. was thoroughly involved.
Naturally, JFK wasn't a super guy; he had his share of problems, like banging away Marilyn Monroe, and making promises that he couldn't keep. But who gives a shit about that? You should stick to the point of the assassination, and thatís what the film does. And if you think that there was no conspiracy, or worse, think that Jackie Kennedy wanted him death just because of some silly love affair (try divorce), and organize that type of military style ambush between Houston St. and Elm St., then you're probably a fucking idiot. I mean Oswald would make a complete asshole of himself if he didn't shoot Kennedy coming off Houston, which was basically the easiest shot for him. Of course, many people have asked themselves and still asked themselves why was JFK killed? But again, this film just goes on, forgets whatever is around the mystery of his death, and tells its story.
The film points out the many problems that lie within this investigation. Many of us today who will do research on the Internet, or in the library about the case will find a lot of malaise, instead of the goods that we are trying to find. The JFK case is surrounded by a bunch of worthless shit that the most important parts that we look for are almost nowhere to be found, like Mister X (Donald Sutherland) explains to Garrison: "Well thatís the real question isn't it, why? The how and the who is just scenery for the public, all this shit keeps them guessing like some kind of parlor game that prevents them from asking the real question 'why'." It has always been like that. You look at history and if you try to do research in some topic, the first thing you get is just refills of how they did it, and who was involved in it. Hell, why do you need that info if what is done is done? You never get to the point of the topic, and that is asking why did they do this? And who gives a fuck if these guys were gay or not? What matters is what they did. Also, don't underestimate the three questions that X told Garrison: "Why was Kennedy killed? Who benefited from it? Who has the power to cover it up? That, in my opinion is the movie's key for the audience, especially for the ones that do research, since itís the basic point on what point of view they should start investigating.
All those points that the film points out, is storytelling at itís finest. Hell, this entire movie, all the credit goes to Stone, heís a masterful screenwriter, and to have pull this one off, itís just impressive. Sure, it doesnít rely too much on historical accuracy, but the dramatic effects are effective and incredible. His skills in directing are raw, but great, and he manages to score great, giving all the right atmospheres in all the movieís key scenes.In the end the movie explains to you that in history kings have been killed, and how politics are played. It also tells you that you should never fully believe what the people say. Think, be smart, find out as much as you can from the topic, and then draw your own conclusions, maybe someday we will find out the damn truth. For the moment, find this movie and watch it
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1194&reviewer=235
originally posted: 02/01/01 15:54:11