Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: The Conspirator

I got to see the Conspirator on opening night, April 15th; which coincidentally happened to be the 146th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.  I was very moved with a lot of scenes, in particular the part when John Wilkes booth gives his horse's harness to the man outside Ford's Theater, the scene when Lewis Powell breaks into William Seward's bedroom and he is lying in bed recuperating, both because I knew what was about to happen next.

Toby Kebbell as John Wilkes Booth

But what was most emotionally moving and sad was when Lincoln's body was taken out of Ford's Theater and across the street to the Peterson house.  It was also really amazing to see how authentic the bedroom where he was taken was to the actual room.  The bed where he was laid out was an exact replica and it really affected me when the camera focused on his feet dangling from the bed. Abraham Lincoln was a very tall man and his body had to be laid diagonally across the bed because it wasn't long enough.

James McAvoy as Frederick Aiken

The film focused on the conspirators of the assassination plot, in particular Mary Surratt. Before watching the film I studied a bit about her because her story is actually very unique.  She is the first woman to be put to death by the U.S. Government.  I believed that Mary Surratt was punished severely for her connection to the assassination of the president, but after the film I really felt bad for her.  I've also read plenty about Edwin M. Stanton's role/ crusade to capture and punish the conspirators, but I did not realize how merciless he really was.  I think he was, alike the majority of Americans pretty pissed off that Abraham Lincoln was killed and he acted out of emotion in determining the outcome of her trial in particular.  

Kevin Klein as Edwin M. Stanton

I don't blame him for being so angry and wanting justice for the horrible acts that were done by the conspirators, but I do think that everyone deserves a fair trial and that was pretty much the point of the film.  The constitution was written for the purpose to protect people from their government.  Our Founding Fathers after all fought so hard to rid this country of tyranny.

Robin Wright as Mary Surratt

This was totally worth watching and I'm happy that yet another film about Lincoln will soon begin production.  It's directed by Steven Spielberg and it's based on the book Team of Rivals!!  Daniel Day-Lewis who in my opinion is the best contemporary actor will be playing Honest Abe himself, yipppeee!

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