A film about Mark David Chapman in the days leading up to the infamous murder of Beatle John Lennon.A film about Mark David Chapman in the days leading up to the infamous murder of Beatle John Lennon.A film about Mark David Chapman in the days leading up to the infamous murder of Beatle John Lennon.
"This is my statement"...but what of the filmmakers?
A rather contemptible recreation of events in the disturbing life of John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman. As portrayed by Jared Leto (a disciplined, dedicated actor who gained some 60 pounds for the role), Chapman is a suicidal, overweight ex-student from Georgia by way of Texas who believed himself to be the embodiment of Holden Caulfield, the anti-hero celebrated by J. D. Salinger in his book "The Catcher in the Rye". By killing a celebrity, Chapman felt he would finally gain all the attention he'd been deprived of in life. Leto plays him as a schizophrenic drifter with a short fuse, a man so alienated from the real world that he puts down the rich and famous for being phony without ever realizing his own deluded behavior. Without a doubt, extremely queasy and disturbing material, yet the film isn't particularly enlightening or incisive on any level. Writer-director J.P. Schaefer stages the entire picture as a build-up to Chapman's final release of fury, sort of like 'the ultimate event'. We get nothing in the wake of the senseless killing except actual news footage from December 1980 (with pictures of the real John Lennon held up by the crowds). Schaefer exploits the grief in these archival clips simply to cap his own movie off, while the actor playing Lennon (briefly glimpsed) is named Mark Lindsay Chapman... Is nothing sacred for filmmakers anymore? The melodrama on display here is meant to squeeze and prod us, and to keep us in suspense, but the sensationalistic tactics come through loudly and cheaply. *1/2 from ****
- Aug 3, 2010
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