Compelling. Emotional. A towering performance from Denzel Washington.
The opening half an hour of Robert Zemeckis’s ‘Flight’ will have you on the edge of your seat. He uses handheld camera which creates a startlingly real situation. What with numerous flight crashes which happen often, we are given an insight in to Denzel Washington’s Whip Whitaker, who pilots the faulty plane, with ease and flare.
But, there is something flawed about Whip, an alcoholic and a drug addict, it could be because of these causes, according to the official aviation authorities that ‘six souls on board’ were killed. And that’s the plot.
Zemeckis demonstrates just how to create a big budget film, with independent vibes. Whip Whitaker is damaged, but brilliant. The plane crash was the beginning of the tragic anti-heroes downfall. Zemeckis doesn’t create a sterotypical ‘alcoholic’, its gritty, real, Whitaker simply has an addictive personality.
One would think, with these heavy themes, that the film is depressing. It’s not. There are touches of comedy, particularly in one instance, after the plane crash, Whitaker is stuck in hospital and sneaks to the corridor for a sneaky smoke. Here he encounters a gallantly witty cancer patient and Kelly Reilly’s character, Nicole.
Reilly’s character however, is a little less believable than Washington’s. A heroin addict and an alcoholic, she is a little too healthy looking. But, other than that, she gives an admirable performance as the opposite kind of addict, she is what Whitaker must be.
The nod, however, must go to Denzel Washington. for his outstanding performance as Whip Whitaker, compelling, emotional, believable. He carries the film entirely on his shoulders. Whip is confusing, confused and terribly damaged. If you must see one film this week, see this.