Now to be honest I was not particularly compelled by the release of this seemingly purposeless film, perhaps as a result of it being a portrayal of an event I feel I already have sufficient understanding of without the melodramatic needs of a big Hollywood reconstruction…Yet with its irresistible cast and numerous nominations, I found enough appeal to find 1 hour and 36 minutes to set aside, albeit slightly reluctantly and review.
For those of you who might not know (and if you don’t then I suggest you remove yourself from under your rock and read a New York headline from 2009), this film depicts the events of Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his incredibly successful landing of an Airbus A320 carrying 155 passengers on the Hudson River.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, with co-star Pilots Aaron Eckhart who plays Jeffrey Skiles, alongside the brilliantly comforting and vitalising Tom Hanks who, as is almost always the case of Mr Hanks, extraordinarily well suited to this heroic role.
This film to put it simply is short and sweet, with a beginning to get through if not slightly push through and an ending that leaves you gently fulfilled.
To slightly elaborate, as this film begins I’m immediately concerned that it might be too far removed from the actual landing itself, preferring to focus on the aftermath and the pressured societal detachment of Sully from his wife and those fiercely labelling him a Hero. This digression in to the convolutions of praise, portray an awkward, distant Sully, of course also suffering the extremities of incomprehensible shock. His struggle to accept the unfamiliar role of the world famous, real life protagonist as well as his bewildered attempt at reconciling with himself and others the enormity of his course of action, is arguably the result of this films slower start.
However, we are soon cast back to the flight itself where, in my opinion gentle preparation for such an intensely profound event, which lasted a matter of minutes from the bird strike to the unplanned landing in the freezing river, was indeed necessary. The reconstruction itself is meticulously and steadily drawn out, which shrewdly captures the procedure taken by the Pilots, without the need for histrionics. With full knowledge of the outcome, this film remains able to generate immense tension and consistent intrigue with regards to the mechanics of humanity as well as to the logistics of the landing itself. It respectively highlights the roles of all involved, from pilots and crew to rescue team and passengers, following a moralistic and dedicated discourse.
This film ends very satisfactorily, perhaps more detail could have been introduced but there is sufficient content to allow this film to draw to a suitable close. Progress is finally made and Sully and sceptics are able to make way of occurrences, where the significance of human assessment successfully dismantles the futile effectiveness of simulations that attempt to dispel the capabilities of Pilots Sully and Skiles.
I thoroughly recommend this film as an example of the miraculous demonstration of human judgement, which here epitomises goodness, valour and indeterminable flying skill. This is marked using an understated yet totally engrossing version of events, focusing on the true concept of Heroism, which Hank holds with sincerity and simple, modest dexterity and is subsequently alive with purpose.