After an offer from a colleague at work I was invited to the premiere of Flight in Leicester Square on Thursday night. After running through a gauntlet of TOWIE and Chelsea cast members, a bit sweaty and dis-shelved from the walk from the office to the cinema, and feeling a bit of over excited that Simon from Blue was sitting on my row. (He was wearing a cravat!) The film began.
Denzil Washington plays the lead, a pilot named Whip, who one day is involved in a plane crash. Whilst an error with the plane means that the flight is seemingly doomed from before takeoff, Whip manages to successfully land with only minimal injuries and fatalities. WhilstWhip recovers in hospital a toxicology report discovers that he was drunk whilst flying the plane and will be held accountable for the deaths on board and possibly go to prison facing 6 manslaughter charges.
Whilst Whip is coming to terms with a possible prison sentence and the nationwide acclaim that he is now experiencing he tries to deal with this alcoholism, drug dependency and loneliness from his estranged family.
The film heavily focuses on the theme of addiction leading up to the climactic scene where Whip is locked in a hotel room the night before his hearing to establish the causality of the accident with a package of documents from his lawyer to study with the aim of memorising the content to allow himself to be cleared of any blame for the accident. His mini bar has been cleared of alcohol however the adjoining room hasn't. Whip succumbs to temptation and is found in the morning drunk and passed out in the bathroom, 45 minutes before his trial.
Whips friend and drug dealer Harling Mays, Played by Dan Goodman, comes over right before the trails and supplies Whip with coke to get him into shape for the hearing. Whip enters the hearing and answers all the questions well to clear himself of any blame. He's asked one final question forcing him to blame a flight attendant he was having a relationship with for empty bottles of alcohol found in the plane's rubbish. He suddenly bottles out and admits that he drunk the alcohol, was drunk flying the plane and is an alcoholic.
We jump to one year in the future where Whip is in prison retelling his sad story to his fellow inmates. He's sober, repairing his relationship with his son and glad he made the decision to confess to his alcoholism and seek the help he needs.
My first impressions of the film were that it lasted slightly too long. There were various scenes which were not necessarily essential and I personally believe that there's no reason for a film to last over 2 hours. Despite that I did find Denzil Washington's performance excellent and in the end we all got the happy ending we wanted, although we may not have known we wanted all the way through.
I enjoyed how it was thought provoking in that it does raise moral questions as to whether you personally believe that Whip should have been held accountable for the deaths on the plane despite the alcohol having no effect on his performance. It was also interesting to see the portrayal of addiction, something which I've personally never experienced towards cigarettes or any other harmful substance and therefore find it hard to understand the lack of self control.
All in all it was an enjoyable film but possibly in comparison to the other films currently being released in cinemas, Lincoln, Argo and Les Mis and Djano Unchained. It may be not seem as good in comparison.
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