Sunday, February 17, 2013


February 17, 2013

The trailer pretty much tells us already what "Flight" was all about. An ace pilot saves a crashing plane from a worse fate by a daring yet skillful inversion maneuver. However, as public adulation for his miraculous feat builds up, the pilot had to face investigation for the alcohol and drugs found in his post-flight blood exams. Thus, the question is set up: will he get away with it all or will he own up to his personal demons? That is all that the trailer does not tell us.

I watched "Flight" mainly because of Denzel Washington's Oscar-nominated lead performance as the pilot Capt. Whip Whitaker. He deserves this citation because he was able to convincingly navigate the emotions that are eating up this troubled, tormented and broken man. While we admire him for his piloting skill, we also detest him for his uncontrollable addiction to alcohol, the lies he makes up to cover up for it and the personal relationships he ruined along the way. I do not particularly enjoy watching movies about people who destroy themselves, and this is one of them.

Alcoholism had been a favorite subject for Oscar winners, both for males and females, including Lionel Barrymore ("A Free Soul"), Ray Milland ("The Lost Weekend"), Robert Duvall ("Tender Mercies"), Nicolas Cage ("Leaving Las Vegas"), Vivien Leigh ("A Streetcar Named Desire") and Susan Hayward ("I Want to Live"). Denzel's performance in "Flight" would have been a shoo-in to join that illustrious list of winners in any other year, except that this year he was up against stronger nominees.

I love the multiple meanings of the title "Flight" in the context of the story.  The Oscar nomination for Original Screenplay was a nice bonus for this production. I thought the subplot about another drug addict Nicole (sympathetically played by Kelly Reilly) was not really too important in the main story arc, and just prolonged the running time beyond two hours. It was also good to see Robert Zemeckis back in a live action film (after "Beowulf" and "Polar Express"), but his directorial style seems to be stuck in the 1990s because "Flight" did have a sort-of "dated" TV-movie feel to it.


  1. I was supposed to watch Flight last week but went for Safe Haven instead.. Flight's trailer looks interesting.. but wouldn't put my expectations too high on this.

    1. Hi Berylle. I wanted to take my wife to watch Safe Haven on V Day, but the sked was inconvenient so we ended up watching Die Hard, haha! How was Safe Haven? Did you like it?

  2. The story alone makes me say that this would really stretch the acting prowess of Denzel portraying an alcoholic who goes to great lengths to hide the truth. I'm sure he was convincing here.

  3. I haven't watched "Flight" trailer yet but based on your article it is a good movie especially with Denzel Washington on it. Gotta check it out soon!

  4. i don't need to know what this movie is all about, as long as it has Denzel in it, then I am all sold! will make sure to download a copy of this film online :)

  5. I'm not sure I will go to the theater to watch this movie. It has a "guy movie" vibe for me. Denzel's movies are quite heavy not just in context but also in emotions. When I'm in the movie house, it's usually to relax. However, I might watch this once it becomes available in DVD and I want to watch a movie that will make me think.

  6. My favorite from the Oscar nominee films this year is Silver Lining Playbook....but might as well check out this movie.

    I enjoy reading your film reviews. They are comprehensive and gives me a fair idea which DVD to purchase next. keep it up!