Chapter 27 (2007)
In the whimpering, whispering voice adopted for his portrayal of John Lennon’s killer, Jared Leto informs us that if we really want to know what happened he will tell us. But just about those three days in New York City around Christmas, as all the other stuff isn’t important. What the makers of this biopic fail to realise is that what Mark Chapman got up to in those three days isn’t important either.
Winding down the clock to that fateful event, this film follows Chapman as he mumbles and grumbles to a taxi driver, a book seller, a photographer, a doorman and a few fans congregating outside the Dakota building, one of who is portrayed by Lindsay Lohan. Without any hint of irony she informs Chapman she didn’t like Rosemary’s Baby, which was filmed in the Dakota, because it was very slow moving and that nothing happened till the end. One can only assume she would have hated Chapter 27. For while the Chapman’s initial meeting and later murder of Lennon is eerily realised, all that comes before it is exceedingly tedious.
Likewise, based on his characterisation in this film, Chapman would be displeased with Leto. “I hate the movies. They’re phony”, he states. “I mean look at the actors. They’re always touching their foreheads and breathing deep. It’s like they know they’re acting and they know how good they are and goddamn they’re going to show you.” Swap foreheads for eyeglasses in this quote and he has accurately described his own performance. Though lingering shots of his bloated body are designed to impress, it would have been nice if Leto had brought something more to the role than an extra 67 pounds.
Strangely, despite repeated references to signs pointing Chapman to his heinous act, the most alarming coincidence within this movie is the name of the actor who portrays Lennon.
Mark Chapman met Sean Lennon at the Dakota building, not in Central Park.
Despite appearing to be an excuse for various characters to shout “Hey Jude”, Chapman did meet a fan by that name while he was waiting to kill John Lennon.
Confines of biopic’s setting dictate there are no scene recreations from Lennon’s film career.