Following the death of his brother John, Robert Kennedy is forced to rise to the challenge of leading his country and carrying on his brother's vision of what America could be.

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Following the death of his brother John, Robert Kennedy is forced to rise to the challenge of leading his country and carrying on his brother's vision of what America could be.

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When America was obsessed with what we were fighting against . . . he showed us what we were fighting for. See more »

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Drama | History

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25 August 2002 (USA)  »

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Little Brother  »

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Not JFK
25 August 2002 | by See all my reviews



I recall some of my college instructors speaking of being in the south during the civil rights marches to end segregation. They were very involved in the politics of the day. Of Robert F. Kennedy, I remember they told of his evolving after the death of his brother -- changing from a young, but somewhat out-of-touch, bureaucrat, to growing to be a more thoughtful, people-oriented observer -- evolving from an unquestioning hawk on international interventions, to being a leader mindful of sending young Americans to far away lands to kill and be killed.

This TV movie, RFK, did fairly well in capturing Robert Kennedy's political evolution. The lead actor playing RFK looks remarkably like the real RFK -- specially when lit by a single hard light.

Unfortunately, the final product was all too obviously a "made for TV" production. The background music was unremarkable. The editing-in of old footage to new footage was all too easy to spot. This RFK film is as bland as Oliver Stone's JFK is bold.

With such lifeless story telling, the supporting actors had little chance to bring any dimension to their roles. When real-life characters are given little depth, it is better to let unknown actors portray them.

The script is too often self-aware, too often knowing of what is coming ahead. At one point Robert Kennedy is seen giving a speech and as he speaks, he refers to himself in the past tense... "My favorite poet WAS..." not IS.

Last, the script gives us RFK: the son, and RFK: the brother, but no time is given to deeply explore RFK: the father. The number of children Robert Kennedy fathered was extraordinary. His home life must have been very interesting. I am sure there will be a new telling of the RFK story before long.


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