Plot? Don’t need that – Jackie Review

John Carroll Lynch – well casted for President Lyndon B. Johnson. Needed more makeup though…

Jackie follows the life of First Lady Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy who witnessed first-hand the assassination of her husband. The movie depicts her life in a non-linear format – events occur that take place before, during and in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. Some miscellaneous episodes such as the shooting of her White House tour documentary, the funeral of her husband, her talks with the priest (John Hurt) about life, her interview with the journalist (Billy Crudup) are also included.

This is Pablo Larraín’s english-language film debut. Initially skeptical to direct a biopic, Larraín seems to have done a commendable job. The stock film cinematography draws you in from the first frame. The emotion, the general atmosphere after the assassination is well-captured. Midway through you begin to realise how small and personal this movie is. It rarely deals with the complexities of politics, no conspiracy theories draw breath, no-no. It just showcases a wife dealing with her grief, her worrying about her late husband’s legacy and the uncertainties that lie in the future. Financial and otherwise.

All of this makes for a movie with no strict narrative format. There’s no semblance of a storyline as the various developments are intertwined on-screen sans-reason. All the supporting characters are given little-to-nothing to do. Being the titular character, the sole focus of this movie is on Jackie (Natalie Portman). Her fears, her sorrows, her anguish, her rage – basically all of her motor responses take precedence over everything else. Portman does a commendable job of displaying the entire spectrum of her acting capacity. But it can’t make up for the lack of everything else.

Jackie is solely for people who wish to see a real, raw portrayal of a historic figure, which Portman provides effortlessly. For the rest of us, it doesn’t have anything else to offer.

Rating : 3/5

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