Assassination of Richard Nixon

THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON. 2004

Director: Niels Mueller

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Part of the unease of this relentlessly downbeat film is that Sean Penn's character Sam is not entirely stupid & has moments of clear-sighted understanding of the injustices of the world, so you can almost relate to his angst & discouragement.

But he finds impractical applications for his observations, like trying to connect with the Black Panthers since he agrees with them about injustice; he can just never follow a thought to any logical or helpful end, making the viewer wonder if anything the poor dumb clod believes could be even slightly correct.

Sean is so convincing as an imbittered & profound loser it's almost hard to remember he's Sean Penn for crine out loud. I just so wanted him to get hold of himself & change his fate.

Some of his bitter angst made me feel so damned guilty, as I've ridded myself of just such loony friends in the past, & though I doubt any of them planned to kill the president, I do wonder if just one concerned friend or family member couldn't've gotten Byck into a mental health facility before it was too late.

America's greatest living actor turns in one of his best performances. The last image of him running around his apartment with the toy airplane, it was like a stab in the heart -- talk about sympathy for the devil/

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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