JFK Review

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On November 22nd 1963, John F Kennedy, President of the United States of America, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Many to this day believe it was not solely the work of the man arrested (also killed before trial), Lee Harvey Oswald. Jim Garrison (Costner) tried for years to prove this.


Many Americans believe that truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy has never been revealed. Former New Orleans District Attorney, Jim Garrison, one of the most extreme debunkers of the Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, spun his own theory which involved the CIA, anti-Castro Cubans, Lyndon Banes Johnson, and New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw - who was acquitted after Garrison bought him to trial.

Only the most attentive viewer will be able to keep all of the story straight. As history the film is bogus; as entertainment, it is intermittently riveting, thanks to generally excellent performances and Stone's visceral directorial energy, although interest flags during Costner's long courtroom summation.

Whatever one believes about the assassination, Garrison's continued good health is the best argument against his particular theory. If the conspiracy was, as the movie claims, so widespread that even minor participants met mysterious ends, why was he allowed to continue his investigation? Stone, who co-wrote the film with Zachary Skiar, Garrison's editor, never answers this; his alleged purpose is merely to prod people into questioning the official position on the issue. However, Stone presents his version as the absolute truth - complete with recitations that read as fact - and Garrison as a maligned hero. Still, if conspiracy theories are your cup of tea - or if you just like a good yarn - JFK may satisfy.

Truth or not, this is an exceptional piece of cinema, deeply provoking and audacious.