I unexpectedly enjoyed this movie – a mix of archival clips and dramatized scenes. It is about J Edgar Hoover, the long serving and legendary FBI boss in the USA. The film weaves a speculative mix of fact and 'fiction' around the times of the Kennedys in power in the White House – Jack as president and his brother Bob as Attorney General – both to die by the end of the decade. The core of the film is J Edgar Hoover's relationship with the Kennedys within the rich context of what was happening politically at the time. It also depicts, Hoover's relationship with his deputy, Clyde Tolson (and secret lover apparently)as a secondary theme. Tolson acts as narrator in the tale. He presents as an ill man and possibly bitter man always at the behest of Hoover and in his shadow.
It sustained my interest throughout – no doubt due to powerfully performances by Brian Cox as Hoover and the multi-layered political reality he operated in. It is an imagined work based on known facts, but not all realities presented can be assumed to be true even if woven together in a believable tale. It triggered my interest to know more and check some facts, although some will never be known. Not all scenes were convincing, for example Hoover with his psychoanalyst did not ring true, but may have been needed as a literary device. The actor playing Bob Kennedy was less than satisfy, but these are minor points.
The content will provide a happy hunting ground for those inclined to view the world through a lens of conspiracies. Some conspiracies may have a basis in truth!
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