Instead of dwelling on Mark David Chapman and his famous victim, Jeremy Profe’s night-a-Beatle-died drama The Lennon Report focuses on the professionals unexpectedly pulled into the center of a cultural maelstrom. With echoes of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, the film depicts the city’s systems intersecting in reaction to John Lennon’s murder.
The surgeons, nurses, and police all have jobs to do; so does Alan Weiss (co-writer Walter Vincent), a television producer who happens to be in the ER due to a motorcycle accident when the high-profile John Doe is brought in.
The first half of the movie cuts between the medical team (led by Evan Jonigkeit as young surgeon David Halleran) attempting to restore Lennon’s circulation and the injured Weiss struggling to confirm the story and call his newsroom. The film’s businesslike nature means the moments of grief, when they hit, deliver body blows: Halleran reluctantly agreeing to call the time of death; Yoko Ono (Karen Tsen Lee) feeling the weight of solitude in a private waiting room.
The Lennon Report loses some steam in its second half as the immediacy of the operating theater dissipates in press conferences and obituary voiceovers. Even so, Profe does an admirable job walking us through the day’s events, weaving together the accounts of people on the scene.
The Lennon Report
Directed by Jeremy Profe
Opens October 7, Cinema Village
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 5, 2016