Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Fans of John Lennon, myself included, are still saddened by his death on December 8, 1980. How could somebody pull the trigger on a peace loving legend? A new film "Chapter 27" (USA/Canada 2008, 84 min.) tries to revisit the tragedy moment from killer Mark David Chapman's perspective. Unfortunately, the film fails to tell a compelling story about the killer, which only leaves Lennon's fans more agonized.
Putting on 67 lbs and a creepy voice, Jared Leto plays the mentally unstable Mark David Chapman who is from Hawaii with a Southern accent. Chapman is a John Lennon's fan himself and listens to Beatles. He is also obsessed with the novel "The Catcher in the Rye" that ends with Chapter 26. Chapman believes himself to be the novel's character and wants to write the next chapter—Chapter 27, by killing John Lennon. "Chapter 27" chronicles Chapman's last few days before he pulled the trigger.
Chapman's constant eerie voiceover reminds us again and again that he is crazy, but provides us little insight about where he was coming from and why he committed the horrific crime. Looking for answers to these questions should be precisely what audiences expect from a film like this.
Although Chapman looks and sounds awkward in the film, a girl named Jude, played by Lindsay Lohan, become friend of him quickly while waiting outside John Lennon's apartment for an autograph. I think Lindsay Lohan's character needs a rehab, not for alcohol, but for stupidity.
Noticeably, not a single song by John Lennon is played in the film, although the killer is a big fan of John Lennon. I can imagine why. I don't see anyway the filmmakers can get the right to use John Lennon's songs in a film about John's killer. It's probably equally hard for people who love John to hear mentioning the killer's name, even worse, to listen to his voice, especially when there is not much interesting content in his babbling.
"Chapter 27," will open in Bay area theaters on April 18.