“Chappaquiddick” paints a tragic portrait of politics and entitlement.
Historical movies tend to have good intentions. Whether they make good movies or not is often dependent upon how they illuminate historical events. “Chappaquiddick” certainly strives to accurately portray the 1969 events of Senator Ted Kennedy’s single-vehicle car accident on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts that resulted in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Unfortunately, a lot of that mystery is left unanswered. Kennedy comes off as too enigmatic, and Kopechne is more symbol than character. Where the film is most successful is in showcasing the cover-up that took place to protect the politician’s presidential ambitions. The movie also paints a scathing portrait of entitlement and the very different set of rules for the rich and powerful.