Review of Chapter 27 directed by J.P. and Jarrett Schaeffer
Rating ** 1/2
This film is about the killing of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman as seen from the killer’s eyes. This is mostly a one man show by the lead actor Jared leto. The only other star of note is Lindsay Lohan who does a fine job as a Lennon groupie.
The film covers the three days leading up to the murder. Voice over narration is used to convey Chapman’s internal dialogue. It works in this film which is about a solitary man with delusions and paranoia.
A lot of the story takes place in front of the Dakota where Chapman waits to meet John Lennon. The idea of him killing John Lennon is one that comes and goes. At first he is just an obsessed fan who wants an autograph. But an article he reads in the days leading up to the murder turns him against Lennon. When he finally does meet his idol, Lennon is kind and gracious. This causes even more internal conflict. He comes very close to simply walking away with his autographed album cover. I’m sure that is what he wished he would have done.
The motivation for the murder is tenuous: a fascination with the character Holden Caulfield from the Catcher in The Rye, a desire for recognition, a twisted mind.
I would have liked to have seen the filmmakers go back to when he left Hawaii. It would have given the viewer a little more insight into the character. In one scene he places a phone call to someone in Hawaii. There isn’t enough information given to determine if the person he’s talking to is a therapist, a religious adviser, a family member, a friend, or his girlfriend.
There are no special features on the DVD. Nothing about the real Mark David Chapman. No audio commentary. Had they included any of these I might have given it a little higher mark.