Director: Peter Landesman
Talent: Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver
Release Date: 22nd November 2013
Parkland presents us with an on-the-ground, largely handheld camera led view of the events and individuals in and around the Kennedy assassination. The film has some fun in playing with our expectations, playing into our knowledge of the historical event to ratchet up tension and suspense: in one sequence we are even lead to believe that the president may pull through thanks to the work of some intrepid surgeons.
Where Parkland excels and surprises most is in its exploration of the effects of the assassination on the Lee Harvey Oswald’s family. This leads to the film’s best sequence, in which Robert Oswald is seen burying his dead brother with few mourners in attendance and little assistance, all the while intercut with the televised burial of JFK. it’s a simple juxtaposition, certainly, but one that elegantly achieves Parkland’s goal to shine a light on a different aspect of the days in and around November 22nd 1963.
Words: Luke Maxwell