There are times in our lifes we have the chance to witness history, even as average people. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes not. We are never able to foresee what will be the result out of this, sometimes our lifes are changing forever, sometimes we finally go on, but having something with us we can tell later generations. That's how history becomes history.
More difficult is it for everyone not only to witness from far away, but to get involved into history, to become part of it ourselves. Not everyone is material for this, not every event is a pleasant one. Sometimes history can destroy ourselves only because we had the mistfortune to be in the wrong place.
Parkland shows us how the assassination of John F. Kennedy affected the lifes of others, normal, average people, agents of the Secret Service, FBI and policemen, doctors or only a businessman who had the mistfortune to film what happened. But we see also how the lifes of the family Oswald changed during the few days after JFK died, with what they, especially Robert Oswald, had to deal with.
It's not a movie about a new conspiracy theory or any conspiracy theory. Parkland only wants to tell what happened during this few days in November, starting with the assassination on November, 22nd. Like a documentation the movie shows the fate of the people involved into this day, as agents, as doctors, as witnesses. It will not judge, it only wants to show how this event of history affected a few lifes, sometimes in a good way, sometimes it destroyed the person.
Talking about the Oswald-family I think this movie will give especially them a little closure, shows Parkland in an honest and sensitive way, what happened to the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, suspect in this case and later killed. Robert Oswald only wanted to live his own life, with and for his family, his wife and his kids. All this changes completely after his brother is accused to have killed the president. This is definitely more than Robert can deal with, but he has to and he grows out of it, staying on his own, but also dealing with the fact to be a relative to a very possible killer.
Personally I have to say, this storyline was the one that drew my into the movie. I could feel with Robert, could understand what he was going through and have huge respect for him not leaving Dallas behind but to stay there and keeping his name (something one of the detectives suggests him to do during the movie).
On the other hand we also witness the fate of Abraham Zapruder, the man which film showed the complete shooting including the terrible end of JFK. Zapruder was a man, only interested in his own life, his business, his family. He just bought this new camera, which he never touched again after he filmed what he filmed on November, 22nd. Suddenly he's in the middle of the attention, he is the one who SAW and FILMED what happened. More than he could handle and so this day in 1963 leaves him as a broken man.
There's also an affect on the doctors at the Parkland hospital, Dr. Charles Carrico who was the first who was there to ... well, help JFK, and later Dr. Paul Mikkelson. Both tried their best to save the life of the president but ... which chance he had after the last fatal shot in his head?
There's also the fate of Roy Kellerman, agent at the Secret Service and there to protect the president. Tom Welling did a pretty great job here, and I really liked that Roy was the first asking about what to do with the former First Lady Jackie Kennedy while everyone else was still busy being shocked.
Or the life and carreer of FBI agent James Hosty. He was the one in charge to watch over emigrants and had a not so pleasant experience with Lee Harvey Oswald before. His carreer was put on hold after the events in November, he himself transferred to another FBI-bureau.
As I said before Parkland is a movie that wants to show us, not a movie to judge. Whatever really happened we probably will never know – or we already know? This isn't about JFK or Lee Harvey Oswald, this isn't about pointing in one direction to suggest a possible reason for this part of history. Parkland isn't highly dramatic, or it is – in a way that normal life can be dramatic as the movie transports this dramatic very well. There are no heroes in this story, no pure evil beings conspiracing about the death of the president of the US. Parkland tries to show what happened so we all can see it. Parkland shows the struggle of average people trying to deal what is surely not average. It is about the unsong heroes of these few days, the change of a few lifes which had the (mis)fortune to collide with history.
And for the Grimmsters among the readers (which are very likely the most ;)): Bitsie Tulloch's role is very small but, hey, she has some lines. And she transports the shock of witness the death of a president perfectly. Not to mention that she once more looks adoreable in those 1960th-clothing ;). I liked her role very much, and wished we also had learned more about what happened to poor Marilyn Sitzman.