Sunday, May 5, 2013

“Flight” – A Movie review of a Remarkable film by Robert Zemeckis


 “Flight” – A Movie review of a Remarkable film by Robert Zemeckis

The movie begins with a Pilot lying in bed naked with a flight attendant, intoxicated with alcohol, and fatigued after a riotous night of unfettered physical intimacy. That defines Captain Whip, a chronic drug abuser, an ace pilot, a charismatic and debonair seducer called in to command a domestic flight that develops a mechanical failure , and is doomed to perish along with hundred and odd passengers on board. By a miraculous professional instinct that comes from deep seated talent, the pilot steers the flight out of trouble and lands on an empty field. The trouble though is that the Captain was drunk during the flight. The fact the aircraft was grounded with minimal number of causalities does not abdicate the irresponsible behavior of the pilot, and he is made answerable to a commission, battling his alcohol problem all along. The Movie captures the helpless condition of a talented man under the grip of drug abuse and his stubborn reluctance to face the fact that he is an alcoholic, who cannot find courage to let go of the bottle.  The movie ends with his realization that this endless craving is a self-deceiving madness, and the moment he faces the truth, he is free of it.

One of the greatest challenges of alcoholism is the ability to confront it head long : Especially so, if the person involved is intelligent, talented, morally sound and has the ability to ratiocinate the deep seated addiction to be a minor problem that can be easily overcome. No amount of suggestions, advice or admonitions can bring such person to face the psychological illness that is eating away at his soul and body. It needs a miracle to bring about the transformation. To sublimate the trauma of self-imprisonment and break the through the shackles of layered lies, there needs to be a moment when the morality and integrity of the person comes into question and is pushed to the limits of one's intellectual tether. A singular catastrophic situation, when the realization dawns that his entire life has been one meaningless roller coaster ride of drug intoxication, and to completely snap out of it: as though one is awakened out of dream, with no trace whatsoever of the former self.  That is a glorious and timeless moment of freedom for an addict that forever transforms him from the confines of tortuous craving. This is the underlying message of “Flight”.

I have always had great admiration for Denzel Washington. His brilliant portrayal of Captain Whip is perhaps, one of his finest performances in his long and illustrious career:  The inner torment of an alcoholic; the emotional burdens of broken relationships; the false confidence of insecurity – find fitting expressions in the fluidity of the Denzel’s facial dynamics. In the final moments of the movie; the moment of truth for Captain Whip, when he acknowledges himself to be an alcoholic : Denzel Washington presents  a great virtuoso piece of acting to bring to a consummation that unresolved pangs of addiction, moral wreckage and pain caused to himself and all those all around him. One could see the inner cleansing in those deep eyes of Denzel as each tear drop oozes out of it. Never before in my study of movies have I found so much intellectual depth infused into the role of alcoholic; and none better than Denzel Washington to have played this marvelous role with a rare sensitivity and feel.

A truly remarkable film. Pls do watch it……

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