Bobby - The End of Hope
| The thing that stuck me the most while watching director Emilio Estevezís latest film, Bobby, about the people who were in the Ambassador Hotel the night that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, was the sense of hope that existed at the time. My generation never had leaders like that, that people could really believe in. I was jealous that I wasnít alive at the time to experience what that kind of hope could have felt like.
Estevez doesnít seem interested, least in the making of Bobby, in the man who was Robert Kennedy. Instead, Bobby is the story of what he represented. Estevez creates a tapestry of stories, each representing a different aspect of the social, racial, economic and religious atmosphere of the time. These play out against the excitement in the air the night of the California primaries, in anticipation of a speech by the man that many believed could fix the problems of the nation.
The hope that is exhibited, builds until the quite touching climax when the Senator is assassinated. Other characters are shot as well and this quite blatantly symbolizes the death of hope, the death of an era. The US would move into the era of Nixon and eventually an energy crisis and the downward spiral would continue.
Some of these stories are more solid than others. The Martin Sheen/Helen Hunt story line doesnít pack the same emotional punch as some others especially dramas of the kitchen staff. However each contributes to the sense of time and place. There is a sense that people could really believe in something. No wonder the religious right is so dedicated to insanity, at least it gives them something to believe in in this age of disappointment.
In my lifetime there has not been this sense of hope and Bobby as a film manages to give us a glimpse of that. Itís is pleasant and charming and poignant at the end. Estevez has made his first film of importance and itís a good start.