It has been a while since I saw a movie on Saturday Night Premiere in HBO and it was a fortunate thing during the latest weekend staycation with my wife, the hotel we stayed in had this channel on its TV. Both of us did not see this movie when it premiered last year, perhaps due to combination of my reluctance to see heavy drama movie in theater and possible other more intriguing movies then. So when it finally started at 8PM last night and after our dinner at the hotel, my wife and I watched this one together. Here are some more info on the film.
Brief Story Line
A US Airways pilot named Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger (Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan etc) was flying an airplane from LaGuardia airport with his first officer Skiles (Aaron Eckhart - The Dark Knight, London Has Fallen etc). What started as a routine flight became a total disaster when just after few minutes of taking off, some birds flew inside the plane's machines and damaged them. With so little time to think and after considering the options, Sully landed the plane on the Hudson river. Miraculously everyone of the passengers including the air crew survived with only minor injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had to do an investigation when such accident happen to determine the cause and also to avoid from future similar incident. The investigation became a bit heated when the most vocal of the board named Charles Porter (Mike O'Malley - R.I.P.D and as Burt Hummel in Glee TV series) seemed to be suspecting that Sully could have made a better choice.
Despite having everyone calling him a hero, Sully still felt that he might be blamed by NTSB and could lose his pension. This really made his wife Lorraine (Laura Linney - The Truman Show, The Nanny Diaries etc). So did Sully really make a mistake? Or did he choose the correct option? Find them all in this wonderful biographical drama.
End of Brief Story Line
As a drama movie which was aimed for awards, this one surely fit the category. Though funnily enough, it did not get the nomination for major categories in Oscar (except for Best Sound Editing) and not even a single category in Golden Globes. It did however got nominated for best picture & best actor (Tom Hanks) in Critics Choice Awards. I got to say the performance of Tom Hanks as usual was awesome. I could also understand why he was a multiple nominee and winner of various awards. This time he looked real convincing as a very experienced pilot facing the biggest challenge of his life off the ground.
What I love about the movie was the way it was told. It was having a very unique storyline and the director Clint Eastwood (famous for critically acclaimed movies such as Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic Rivers and others) was able to make the movie intriguing as well as heavily full of dramatic moments. My wife was absolutely touched during the second half of the movie especially those moments involving the passengers of the airplane and also during the public hearing in the final part. Even during the end credit scene when the real Sully and passengers of the Flight 1549 on 15 January 2009 were shown giving their gratitude to Sully and his wife.
For such a movie I found it rather unusual that it only had a running time of 96 minutes but it was still enough to show all the emotions and dramatic moments. When I said above that the storyline was unique, it was because the scene was not shown in the standard normal sequence but it was shown with combination of current time and various flashbacks that only showed glimpses of what happened. I think it was unique coz usually this kind of sequences were used in mystery movie but Clint Eastwood was able to do it in a drama movie. And let us not forget the way he made sure that the emotions were kept in tact until end of the movie.
One thing though, I actually felt there was a bit of similar feeling with another 2012 movie that I saw only few weeks ago in cable TV titled Flight with Denzel Washington as the main star. The movie also focused on how Denzel as a pilot saved the flight despite having engine problem but was being questioned by NTSB for the way it was handled. The difference was that movie was not based on actual events, but it did give Denzel an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. And the character was a complete opposite of Sully. By the way the movie Sully was based on his autobiography titled Highest Duty which he co-wrote with Jeffrey Zaslow.
In the end, this movie was a unique heroic movie with the focus on the revealing of events that led to the saving of the passengers by a pilot who was just trying to do his job and by the people of New York. It was not a disaster movie that focused on the special effects of the flight or the landing etc. So you should be ready with a heavy drama movie filled with touching moments and some intriguing part on the actual events and not hoping for a lot of those intense action filled movie. If you are a fan of award type of movie, then this one should be to your liking.
Mike's movie moments rating: 4 out of 5 stars
PS: It is currently playing in HBO Asia and you should be able to see it everyday for the next week at least.