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Some might say it's morally wrong to make a project like this. People all over the world since fall of 1980 have been trying to forget the name Mark David Chapman, with the intention of not giving in to his wish to be remembered as a nobody who killed the biggest somebody. Making movies about the incident as seen from Chapman's perspective certainly are not gonna help people forget, but personally I thought the film was fascinating.
From looking at his tiny resume, I'm guessing that Actor Jonas Ball was chosen mostly because his face is indistinguishable from Chapman's, not because he has any acting skills (even if he did) The role isn't actually that demanding. There is no real need for a performance, most of the character is sold to us through his narrated monologues. The Killing of John Lennon is made mostly by its direction and writing. It takes artistic liberties while ensuring that it's story is direct and the facts are portrayed with clarity (even if a few of them are manipulated)
So what are the facts? Well we know that twenty-five year old Mark Chapman, flew from Honalulu to New York in the fall of 1980, with the intention of killing Lennon. On the evening of September 8, Lennon autographed an Album cover for Chapman, who continued to linger outside Lennon's place. Two hours later, when Lennon returned from a recording session, Chapman pumped him full of lead in the presence of Yoko Ono. Chapman was arrested and was glad to plead guilty to murder.
So what was going on in his head? well if you want the best possible answer read a book, but I just thought this would be interesting to check out. I wasn't disappointed. My one complaint about the film, is that it takes too long to end. Sure it is important that we see the after math of the killing, but the film throws out a bit more than necessary. Up until the last twenty minute, the film makes it pretty clear about Chapman's motives, the ending feels more like a muddled mix of thoughts , which does actually make his sound crazy, whereas up till that point, the film successfully portrayed Chapman as a human being. I suppose it is when crazy people seem normal that bring out the credibility of a story, and I think it is safe to say that the Killing of John Lennon feels credible
For an indie film, the Killing of John Lennon is well done. It is one of those films that you need to approach with an open mind, but it works.
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