Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chapter 27 (2007)

Starring Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan, Judah Friedlander, et al
Rated R, 84 minutes

"Chapter 27" documents the days leading up to the murder of John Lennon. His assassin, Mark David Chapman, is played here by Jared Leto. Narrating in character, he deliberately eschews a backstory, instead choosing to tell us about the events surrounding December 8, 1980.

I'm pretty sure this is the first film I've reviewed with Lindsay Lohan playing a part. Her casting was distracting. Jared Leto put on weight specifically for this role, eerily transforming himself into a serious contender for a Mark David Chapman lookalike contest.

The movie is a pretty straightforward character study into Chapman. A lot of his actions were motivated by his love for "The Catcher in the Rye" and how he identified with the book's protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Having not read the book, I felt disconnected from these references, and frustrated for not getting it. It obviously played a big role in what he did, and the film didn't illustrate the parallels that well for the uninformed.

I was a little bothered with the fact that a killer got his own movie. Not to mention said movie had nothing huge to say from an artistic standpoint. Jared Leto's performance was good. But not enough for me to justify the movie existing. Clearly, Mark David Chapman was not an adjusted individual. In his crusade against phoniness, he senselessly killed a beloved cultural icon. Why we're remembering that with this film is lost on me.


No comments: