Chappaquiddick UV Code
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding cast
This film depicts a cover up. No matter what your political leanings are, Chappaquiddick portrays with great efforts, the weakness and decline of the Kennedy clan's moral compass as well as the public's gullible and passive response in Edward "Ted" Kennedy's (Jason Clarke - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014) scandal and cover up of a night of drinking on July 18th that turns tragic. One might argue that Kennedy should have been charged with murder, but the times and mood of the country was more focused on his older brother's (JFK) plan to land on the moon before the decade ended. Were it not for the landing on the moon July 24th, within a week later, the incident would not have been blurred in the media. Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara - Megan Leavey 2017), a former office aide under Bobby Kennedy, was a 28-year-old passenger drinking with Kennedy when he drove off a bridge and left her to drown.
The film shows Kopechne alive and drowning over hours within the vehicle fighting for her life in an air pocket while Kennedy maneuvers through protecting his political career and standing with daddy Joseph Kennedy Sr. (Bruce Dern - The Cowboys 1972). If you like political intrigue of historical events and famous people, this is for you.
The acting is intense with honorable mention to Ed Helms (The Hangover Trilogy) as no nonsense Joe Gargan, an adopted family friend and lawyer who seemed to be the only sane voice in Kennedy's circle along with a surprising and memorable performance by comedian Jim Gaffigan as former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Paul Markham. During Kennedys 9 hour absence from the time he left the scene of the accident until the moment he made contact with the police, he made absolutely no effort to report the accident. He walks past houses not 100 yards from the scene, walks back to the party and gets help; he then crosses the channel in a stray boat; walks up to a boarding room passing a phone booth; goes into his room and takes a bath.
He then dresses himself to no rush, walks back down stairs and calls his dad. Goes back to bed, gets up the next morning making calls to cover up the incident. In all this, Kopechne was still alive, but drowns by morning spotted by a boy and father fishing.
Kennedy is meanwhile having breakfast with friends and still hasn't reported the accident. I was 10 days from turning 6 years old when this happened in 1969 but don't remember it. What I do remember is the outcry against Ted Kennedy when he did run for president in 1980 and the criticism throughout the 1970's. I enjoyed this movie and plan on purchasing it. The ending comes too soon and leaves many questions.
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