by Brad Nelson 12/9/13
And odd little movie that has Seinfeldian implications of being “a movie about nothing.” But there is, of course, nothing funny about the events surrounding Parkland Hospital in November of 1963.
This is a weird little film standing somewhere between a documentary and a historical drama. How much fiction is spun into this, I do not know. I have no idea if, for example, the events surrounding the Zupruder film are anything like they are depicted in Parkland.
This goes to the crux of this film, good and bad. At times it seems a very dramatic and literal recreation of the events surrounding the day of the assassination of JFK, particularly in and around Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. But there was, at least for me, a stand-offish element as well because I couldn’t be sure what was true (or at least an informed dramatic recreation) and what was just plain made up.
Either way, there is an eerie quality of being there during those dramatic and tragic moments with an intimacy that may repel you. But as a movie, it does seem to be a movie about nothing. It has no point of view, no message, and the story lines it does dredge up (such as regarding Abraham Zapruder and his film), it leaves somewhat hanging. (How much was he paid for the film, for example?)
For those with JFK assassination fatigue, this might not be the movie for you. But it is fairly well-acted and shows the emotional impact this event had on people at the time. You’ll also see into the Oswald family and some interesting back-and-forth between them and law enforcement. And you’ll see Zapruder struggling what to do with his film. There are some interesting behind-the-scenes vignettes such as this that make the film worthwhile.
In the end, this is a somewhat depressing and ill-focussed film. In retrospect, a movie following the life of Abraham Zapruder (and Paul Giamatti is fine in this role) would seem to be the ticket. • (956 views)