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The 2006 film "Bobby," written and directed by Emilio Estevez, weaves together the stories of numerous characters who find themselves at Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel on one fateful day - June 4, 1968. This is the day Bobby Kennedy, the Democratic front-runner in the presidential race, was assassinated. The film doesn't focus on the life and politics of Kennedy himself but rather on the everyday people who were deeply affected by this shocking event - guests, employees and campaign workers at the hotel.

Estevez chose a large ensemble cast to tell the stories, using individual character arcs that cover a spectrum of American life during the late 1960s. The film, set over the course of 22 hours, uses these smaller stories to paint a picture of a pivotal moment in American history.

Anthony Hopkins plays John Casey, a retired doorman of the Ambassador Hotel. Perhaps a metaphorical representation of old America, Casey spends his days playing chess and reminiscing about the past. His conversations provide a historical perspective, connecting the unfolding present to America's recent and complex socio-political past.

Demi Moore brings to life the character of Virginia Fallon, an aging, alcoholic singer still clinging to her fading star. Her volatile, codependent relationship with her young husband, Tim (Estevez), mirrors the struggles of a nation dealing with rapid change and uncertain prospects.

Sharon Stone is the beautician, Miriam, who provides a uniquely personal lens into the everyday struggles of women during this era. Dealing with a philandering husband and job dissatisfaction, her character offers an intimate portrait of personal disillusionment, and through it, serves as a metaphor for a nation grappling with similar political disillusionment.

Among other captivating performers are Martin Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood. Sheen and Lohan share an intriguing subplot involving a hasty marriage intended to save Wood's character from the Vietnam draft. This poignant storyline underscores the deep-seated fear of an entire generation being forced to go to war.

Central to the narrative is the character of William, an African American campaign volunteer portrayed by Laurence Fishburne. His interactions with other campaign staff and hotel employees draw out the civil rights struggles that were at the forefront of American consciousness during the late 1960s.

"Bobby" provides an array of diverse themes: love, infidelity, racism, youth, age and disillusionment, reflecting the complexities of the time it depicts. The film uses the Ambassador Hotel as a microcosm of America, capturing the societal upheavals of a nation divided by the Vietnam war, civil rights movements, and political upheavals.

Fundamentally, "Bobby" uses the interconnected lives of its characters to explore how the era shaped American identities. The film doesn't shy away from the personal aspect of history; it instead highlights how politics and historical moments affect and mold individuals in profound, and often overlooked, ways.

The character of Bobby Kennedy, although frequently referenced, remains mostly off-screen, heard in voiceovers taken from his speeches and seldom seen. This allows the movie to concentrate on the era and the people rather than the man himself, highlighting the communal impact and grief of Kennedy’s assassination.

Estevez doesn't merely tell a story; he captures a snapshot of a volatile, vibrant and turbulent moment in American history. His approach, aided by a powerful ensemble cast, effectively emphasizes the fact that history isn't merely about prominent figures but also about the everyday people who live through it – the people who bear the brunt of political decisions, wars, and momentous events.

"The Bobby" is a poignant and thought-provoking film that largely succeeds in paying homage to a charismatic politician, a lost era, and lives influenced by tumultuous events. More than a biopic, it's a social commentary that presents a slice of life from a bygone era, subtly illustrating a nation at crossroads, its citizens grappling with change while yearning for a promising future. Even though set in a specific time, it remains relevant due to the universal themes it explores – making it a compelling watch for those interested in history, politics, and society.

Bobby is a Drama movie released in 2006. It has a runtime of 120 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0. It also holds a MetaScore of 54.

How to Watch Bobby

Where can I stream Bobby movie online? Bobby is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Amazon, Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Bobby for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Emilio Estevez
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