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Chapter 27 is one of the most visually stunningly films I have seen in a long time. The hauntingly beautiful cinematography comfortably blends it's self with the evocative soundtrack.
Jared Leto surprised me with such a challenging and compelling roll and with this competent portrayal of the notorious Mark David Chapman, he really proves him self as a character actor. Everything from his schizophrenic mannerisms to the morbid confusion in his eyes; Leto is just incredible.
Lindsay Lohan's role in the film, is essential in developing Chapman's awkward disposition when it came to interaction with other people, especially women. Lohan's role, although small, is an important one and she plays it well.
The city of New York also plays an important role in Chapter 27, with it's bitter isolation and apparent lack of moral integrity. A languid soul can be in a city full of thousands of people and still feel completely alone.
It's important to remember when watching this film that Mark David Chapman was no evil genius - he was a schizophrenic sociopath.
The reason this film doesn't offer much of an insight into Chapman's motive behind this horrible assassination or into "the complicated mind of a killer"; is because there isn't one. And the reason his past and childhood isn't included in the film is not only to admit some things that could be seen as being sympathetic towards him (eg: a sexually abusive past etc), but also because it quite simply doesn't matter or explain anything. Chapman was and is quite simply, mentally disturbed and it isn't hard to tell this, even if you only know the basics about him.
Most of the things we know about Chapman's thoughts and actions leading up to Lennon's assassination, we know only from his personal accounts and given his obviously disturbed state in general, these accounts may or may not be what really happened.
The rest can be taken from accounts of interactions held with people such as telephone conversations with his wife or conversations with other "fans" also gathered outside The Dakota.
Chapter 27 gives us a fairly subjective view of Chapman and his actions. They haven't sensationalized anything and have made a good realistic representation of the events of the assassination and the state of mind of the perpetrator at the time.
In so much as people being upset about a film representation being made about the death of someone as beloved as John Lennon, I don't think this film is even slightly disrespectful to the memory of John Lennon. It's not exploring what happened to Lennon on the days before he died, it's exploring what happened to Chapman. It's more about him that it is about Lennon. This in a strange way, is more respectful to Lennon that people might think.
There's a certain morbid beauty to this film that comes out mainly through the incredible cinematography and the creative direction. J.P. Schaefer does a very good job for a first time writer/director.
It's a shame this film won't get as much exposure as it deserves.
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