February 16, 2013


Robert Zemeckis, 2012


Flight is a good film. You get a sense of familiarity with Zemeckis at the helm. I forgot how good of actor Denzel Washington is, he deserves more credit than I typically give him - especially in this film. His character Whip Whitaker is a conflicted, yet sympathetic man who is struggling with his alcoholism throughout the film. It is clearly a character study on Whip Whitaker, who is a man of many layers. You get a sense of the unpredictable nature of an alcoholic, someone whose disease has spread to every facet of their life but still remains heavily charismatic. You have to sympathize with Whip's character, because if you don't the film is going to lose its power.

The first half of the film was fantastic. Great pacing, gritty imagery, compelling story-line  The plane scene rivaled the scene in "Cast Away" which was probably the most terrifying plane crash scene I have ever seen before on film (even more than "Alive"). The second half for me seemed to have veered off course a bit. I enjoyed John Goodman's character but I would have been satisfied with the first appearance early on in the film. I found the scene with him later in the film distracting and I didn't think the moment was ripe for a comedic tone.

One scene that really stood out to me was when the three characters are in the stairwell of the hospital. Walt Whitaker, Nicole and the cancer patient (Mark Mellon) are smoking when the subject of death comes up. Mark says something along the lines of "anyone who doesn't believe in God is stupid. As soon as you start to see that all of the random events that happen in your life are actually God, the world gets a whole lot easier". I love how this tackles the subject of death and the concept surrounding yourself to the world. You have three people who are in a hospital under completely separate circumstances. Of course the psychology of that comes into play. These traumatic events have just happened, and you're left with a great deal of uncertainty. Why did this happen to me? Perhaps if you believed that it was pre-destined, it softens the blow a bit.

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