Sunday, November 27, 2005

You don't understand! I really need to go to the bathroom!

I saw Flight Plan earlier today with my friends from college after a rather late lunch. We already decided on seeing this movie since among all the choices it has the potential to be taken off the big screen any time now. And I like it. I liked it so much I'm getting a copy of it on DVD and add it to my collection. The initial trailers were ambiguous, like something out of a Twilight Zone episode with Jodie's character looking for her missing daughter but is informed that she doen't exist. Creepy, huh? The reasons for it however is something more vile, cruel and truly evil.

The story starts out quietly and it doesn't lay out everything at first. You're left to speculate as to what it is that happened to Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) that left her so traumatized. It is only revealed later that her husband was killed in an accident and with the tragic turn of events they decide to fly back to New York from Berlin to live with her parents and bury her husband. The recently widowed Kyle worked as a jet propulsion specialist in Berlin and she and her daughter is taking one of those she recently helped build: a humongous plane with four levels in its body, capable of carrying 425 passengers across the Atlantic, truly a wonder of engineering feat. She's bringing her only child with her, Julia (Marlene Lawston) who was also severely traumatized by their loss, Kyle rarely left her out of her sight. That is until Julia disappeared without a trace nor explanation in the middle of their flight. The panicked mother threw the whole plane into an uproar, upsetting the main pilot, Captain Rich (Sean Bean) and the plane's undercover air marshall, Gene Carson (Peter Sarsgaard), not to mention numerous passengers and overworked flight stewards and stewardesses. She continues to stress to all that she carried her daughter on board but the flight crews deny ever seeing her with a 6 year old child. Even myesteriously, the flight manifest excludes the name of her daughter on its list, and the mortuary director in Berlin sent a medical report about performing an autopsy on Julia at the same time as her dad. This makes her suspect in the eyes of everyone on board, is she telling the truth or did she she just imagine everything?

The outcome is just a tad predictable but just a little bit. You know that part where you know a conspiracy is behind Julia's disappearance but you're not really sure who are the bad guys and who are those that are innocent. The plot may even be implausible, with the villains' plans hinging on the tiniest of chances or else the plans would fall to pieces. But what I really like about this film aside from the movie's three lead actors, which did a superb take on their roles, is the underlying message. A wake up call for everyone of us in a world that is increasingly becoming impersonal. And do watch out for the Filipino greeting passengers to the Aalto plane in the video screen (he's the one wearing a hat) and the inconsistent change in Mr. Sarsgaard's hair when he went back to Kyle after delivering a false message to the captain. You'll notice how it changes from a short wavy cut to a longish straight hair and back to the original short, wavy cut when he sat down in front of her. Did anyone else notice that? Also, it's worth pointing out that the original plan was for Sean Penn to play the character of Kyle (they didn't bother to change the name afterwards) and this has got me thinking how much of a difference it would be for a father to handle the situation. It would have also been a lot more effective both in the action and the drama department, just how effective it would have been in the latter against Jodey Foster's remains to be seen.

* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.

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