‘Timothy McVeigh: Behind the Oklahoma City Bombing’ – A Deep Dive into the Mind of a Domestic Terrorist

“McVeigh,” a drama about Timothy McVeigh and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, delves deep into the forlorn underbelly of small-town American rage.

The film follows Tim (Alfie Allen), a loner with a scraggly beard who harbors a deep-seated resentment towards the government. He forms a connection with white supremacist Richard Wayne Snell (Tracy Letts), who had previously planned to bomb the Federal Building himself. Through a series of interactions, it becomes apparent that Tim is set on carrying out this “patriotic” act, albeit in a covert manner.

The movie thrives on minimalistic dialogue, with characters communicating in a code-like manner. This approach underscores the disconnect between their actions and their perceived intentions. As Tim and his accomplice Terry Nichols (Brett Gelman) prepare for the bombing, a sense of impending doom looms over the narrative.

Despite being born and raised in New York State, McVeigh embodies the disillusionment of rural America, which had started to embrace anti-American sentiments. The film paints a picture of a man consumed by impotent wrath, driven by a toxic mix of right-wing extremism and white supremacist ideology.

“McVeigh” falls into the category of true-life indie thrillers that explore the psyche of infamous killers. It joins the ranks of films like “Dahmer,” “Chapter 27,” and “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” shedding light on the radicalization of individuals like McVeigh in the context of new right-wing zealotry.

The narrative highlights how McVeigh’s descent into terrorism was fueled by a cocktail of extremist ideas that found resonance in the American mainstream. The film refrains from overtly depicting McVeigh’s radicalization, opting instead for a more subtle approach that mirrors the insidious nature of his indoctrination.

Tracy Letts delivers a compelling performance as Richard Wayne Snell, engaging in riveting exchanges with McVeigh. However, the film falters in its portrayal of Tim’s encounters with enigmatic figures like Frédéric (Anthony Carrigan), whose motivations remain ambiguous.

As the story hurtles towards the fateful day of the bombing, viewers are left with a sense of unease and unanswered questions. The film concludes with McVeigh driving towards the Federal Building, leaving the audience to ponder the depths of his radicalization and the implications of his heinous act.