Writer: Taylor Allen, Andrew Logan (Screenplay)
Starring: Jason Clarke, Kata Mara, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan, Olivia Thirlby, Clancy Brown
Plot: Depicting Ted Kennedy’s involvement in the fatal 1969 car accident that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.
Tagline – The Untold True Story
Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Strong Political Thriller
Story: The Senator starts on July 18th 1969, man is about to land on the moon and Senator Ted Kennedy (Clarke) the last remaining Kennedy child is start his early Presidential campaign. That night Ted and friends are celebrating when he drives one of the campaign strategists Mary Jo Kopechne (Mara) home, when they are involved in an accident, killing Mary Jo.
The morning after the news breaks and Ted must use all of his team to help come up with a smart enough story that will cover him from any wrong doing, the bonus for Ted, man just landed on the moon is the biggest story in the world.
Thoughts on The Senator
Characters – When we look at the character, we must first acknowledge that these were real people. Ted Kennedy is the last of the Kennedy siblings, always in the shadows of his brothers, now embarking on his own journey to become President. He is involved in a car accident which leads to a death of a young woman and we see how he is planning to keep his career on the right path showing how difficult each decision he was making. Mary Jo Kopechne was the victim, she has been a key part of the previous Kennedy campaigns with her work and Ted was recruiting to his latest one. Joseph Gargan is the most trusted man to Ted, he knows what should have been done and gets increasingly frustrated with the attempted cover up. Joseph Kennedy is the father of the Kennedy’s he wants to see Ted follow in his brother’s footsteps always feeling let down by his last remaining son.
Performances – Jason Clarke is the leading role is wonderful, when it comes to serious roles he hasn’t always been given the leading role, here he shows us that he is ready to be taken seriously in a leading role. Kate Mara is good for her smaller part which is all we needed. Ed Helms surprises in a serious role because we are used to see him in comedic roles. Bruce Dern shines in role which shows him in a disabled role where he still shows the disappointment on his face.
Story – The story we follow takes us into the week surrounding the death of Mary Jo Kopechne which had an impact on the political career of Ted Kennedy. The story shows us how the Kennedy camp was trying to put a spin on the accident to clear Ted of any wrong doing. This plays into how this is an incident is one that remained a talking point even though it was overshadowed by the bigger story in human history. Seeing how the politics system was run to spin any story to show innocence to the keep campaign strong even if it means stepping on the people who are affected by the act. This is strange because we always seem to get two major news events together where one will end ups getting forgotten.
History/Thriller – This is a look at a moment in history that would have had a lot bigger story nearly any other day of the week, one that never really got too the truth about. This does keep us on edge as we wait to see just what will happen if the truth was to come out.
Settings – The settings in this film show how behind closed doors the operation to clean up a political disaster works.
Final Thoughts – This is a good political historical drama that shows us just how one story about one of the biggest iconic family’s in America history the Kennedys.
Overall: Interesting political thriller.