Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Parkland

I feel a certain emotional attachment to the 1960's.  Although I was a young child in the 60's, and my perspective did not extend much beyond small town Indiana, I was aware that there was a bigger world out there.  I knew that there was the Vietnam War, hippies, Rock & Roll, and The Beatles.

This is why I recently enjoyed on Netflix streaming the CNN series The Sixties, and the follow up series The Seventies.  Both are very well done.

I have always felt emotionally moved by the events of the 60's, most of all the JFK assassination.  This is a major event in American history, and it is a dividing line between the innocence that preceded it and the turmoil that followed.  Maybe this is why I feel so moved by watching Parkland.  This docudrama focuses on the people who would have been in Dallas at the time of the assassination, especially the people who were at Parkland Memorial Hospital.  The movie also portrays secret service agents, Abraham Zapruder, and Robert Oswald, the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald.

The natural tendency is to want to watch a movie about famous people.  Although there are famous people portrayed in the movie, most of the screen time goes to the ordinary people who were there at the time and found themselves swept up by a historical event.  As such I think that it makes for very powerful drama.

Don't even talk to me about the acting.  There are so many good actors in this movie, many of which only have a few minutes of screen time, but we get one great performance after another.

If you feel as emotional about this event as I do, then I think that you will find that this movie is a very powerful drama.  Parkland only has a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  The biggest criticism is that the different stories in the film feel a little disjointed, but I could not disagree more.  This is what it would have felt like if you were there at the time.  If the purpose of a movie is to transport you to a different time and place, then this film does it superbly.

Rating:  * * * *

Consider this an undiscovered gem.

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