Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flight Movie Review

Like wine, Denzel Washington just gets more handsome with age.

I thought Flight was going to be an “Unstoppable” action movie with plot and subplots and flying humans. Boy! was I mistaken. 
Flight was a drama about the complex make up of a character, about accountability and addiction. Denzel embodied his role as an addict trying to get his life back.  I will tell you for free, Addiction is painful to watch.

A Pilot heroically landed an otherwise doomed plane managing to save 96 out of the 102 souls on board. In the following days as the media lauded his bravery, post flight investigations unearthed evidence that would challenge that.

First off, I never took much count of the use of ‘souls’ instead of ‘passenger’ in Flight Manifests. This movie finally made me understand. When a passenger is lost, it is not just a man or woman, but a body and ultimately a Soul.

So, I knew from trailers that the plane was going to crash, but DW’s commanding presence kept me glued to the screen.
As I listened to the urgent communication between the pilot and the towers when things went awry mid-flight, I couldn’t help but marvel and contrast at what could have happened in the last minutes with all the doomed real-life flights you hear about in the news. 
I heard Denzel took flight lessons for this role and it showed. He knew his flight mechanics. 
He was in control. I didn’t even need him saying it to believe. The way he got his team stepping out of their fear to assist. That is what a leader does. And a Pilot is the leader in a plane. Aye!!

On the other hand, maybe that was the effect of cocaine/drugs don’t you think? A false sense of clarity and bravado compared to his cocaine un-impaired co-pilot who was screaming. lol.

I loved the insight this movie gave me into alcoholism/addiction in general. The lies, self-denial, the temptations, the craving, the havoc it wrecks on personal and family life.
Though it was drama. It had its high moments. My second most thrilling moment, apart from the flight was the night before he was to appear in court. As he walked into the adjoining hotel room and spied the fridge, I broke out in sweat. At that point, the fridge represented the devil. The bad guy. Like in a horror movie scene, you knew that something bad was about to happen. The play of emotions on his face as he opened the fridge and looked at the rows of alcoholic refreshment was a cinematic moment: agitation, calm, amusement and ultimately pride, “I can handle it”, "I can walk away".

Pride cometh before a fall.

In the end, his most heroic act was being true to himself!!

There was something very important I took away from this movie. The prosecutors did not accuse him of alcoholism…rather for his ‘betrayal of public trust. That struck a chord.

Made me rethink some of my half formed opinions of what public trust is. Yes, Captain Whitaker had heroically saved lives, but being inebriated while on duty could have brought other consequences. Passengers flew that plane cause they trusted that the American Airline Associations? IITA? had appropriately licensed this pilot and plane to fly. Barring acts of God or other uncontrollable events, they were supposed to be safe. By drinking and flying he had violated their trust, endangered their lives potentially and made a mockery of his license. That was more important that any one heroic act.

I thought of licensed bus/taxi drivers who shack ogogoro and kparaga while ferrying souls on the road.
I thought of Public transport owners who know brake pads are worn, tyre threads worn but refuse to change them.
I thought of police who swear to honor and protect citizens.
I thought of banks who were licensed to protect my money but instead betray me by giving irresponsible loans.

I shuddered to think of how much our daily living relied on trusting others with our welfare and by extension, how important regulatory bodies really are.

Anyway I digress, I loved this movie and I am glad it garnered Denzel an Oscar nomination even if he didn’t win L. There will be other movies DW, don’t you worry!!

What did you think of the ending for those who have watched it? Too pat or just right?

I forget to mention, the first scene was classic. His lecherous ‘did I tap that ass?’ look as he watched flight attendant Katerina dress up, lol. Baaaad boy!!

Ever wondered about Sex addiction? Next post coming up


  1. I loved this movie too and the naive part of me wanted him to get away with it because he ultimately saved lives.
    The night before he was to appear in court, i was scared too. I wish i could somehow crawl into the movie and clear the fridge :(

  2. My favorite scene was the coke-sniffing scene. A man soooo drunk that he had to get high to get off the drunk. classic.

  3. We reviewed the movie sometime last year, one of the best, and very deserving of the Oscars. You just never knew how it would go, him getting into the adjoining room, oh my... I think the ending was just OK, it kinda has two endings, the first could have sufficed also.

  4. Brilliant movie review! I haven't watched the movie and don't think I would. I don't like films that have to do with addictions. I get very emotional and my tears just block my view. I am more of the happy-ending movie chic. I watch movies to relax and for me to feel better afterwards, they must inspire and make me smile at the end.

  5. For all the times I saw this movie, I kept saying the first scene (nudity) wasnt necessary, the message (reckless behaviour) could have been depicted in many other ways.

    My favourite scene was Denzel grabbing the bottle (a day b4 the hearing) the soundtrack and slow motion effect was epic!

    And I felt every bit of the moments-b4-the-crash scene! Classic!

  6. I haven't seen this movie but God knows i'll watch Denzel anytime and anyday. Addiction is indeed hard to deal with for everyone involved. Even indirectly. I know about it trust me. I will see this movie soon i hope. Good review Gings.

  7. Beautiful review even though I haven't seen the movie..and I agree 100% with your opening line., he's. looker

  8. Oh I just watched this movie a few weeks ago...I was a bit shocked how it started (all that nudity took me by surprise) but past that, i loved it. Always been a denzel fan though so its hard to not like any thing he is in.

  9. I was captivated by this movie. I learned. That scene in the hotel when he entered the room beside him, opened the fridge and saw the alcohol just killed me!!

    One thing that kept me confused though was that there were people who were doing everything to cover up for him. Why? And the truth is we still have people like that. People that cover up for us when they see we are going south. Is it because they think the issue is not that serious or they think they can help us on their own? I just feel that when something is bad as in bad you have to get professional help for the person cos if they die because of that addiction it will be very hard to forguive yourself.

    I was happy when he did what he did at the end sha. Very painful, tough decision. But I was happy for him.

    I was going to say sorry for the long comment but I changed my mind joh. I'm not sorry.

    Worthy of mention is that morning after scene though. The confusion on their faces as he was sniffing and then they had to pay for it. Lol.

    I've missed you Ginger.


  10. I loved the movie...The ending was just there for me but the message of the movie was englightening...The public trust issue...I love the review.



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