Thursday, December 8, 2016

Movie Review: SULLY

Sully is the real life story centering around the event that came to be called "The Miracle on the Hudson." Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) were two airline pilots who, on the 15th of January 2009, found themselves at loss of both engines at a record low altitude. Thanks to their committed professionalism, they managed to land the plane on the Hudson river just 208 seconds after the incident without the loss of any lives both inside and outside the plane. Unfortunately, both of the airline officials had to face tough times in the aftermath of the incident during an investigation that mistakenly led to the belief the two pilots hadn't done their job properly.

The ever so prolific Clint Eastwood is back with another real life picture and yet another time he delivers a story that is well told and filled with great performances, even if there might be not that interesting of a story to tell. The efficiency of Eastwood in the use of the cinematic medium makes for, nevertheless, a worthy 90 minute watch.

By saying that the story to tell here might not be interesting I am in no way, shape, or form belittling the amazing feat that Sully and Skiles pulled off. Nor am I denying their heroism in doing so. What I am saying is that the overall dramatic content that the situation and the story entail isn't exactly structured in a way that that brings an audience to feel naturally moved or emotional. The arcs are pretty straight forward and predictable, the resolution really anticlimactic and overall there isn't any thematic content that gives the story a cinematic effect. The run-time of the film is reflective of how, even in real life, no matter how extraordinary the events, this was a pretty self contained and short spanning occurrence.

Yet, if on one side we have to recognize the cinematic limitations this film has and how this reflects on the overall experience, on the other the effect to which Eastwood manages to bring it to the screen and make it as cinematic as possible. To me he actually showed, in the film, a self-consciousness about everything mentioned above and managed to play towards that at different moments, giving the picture a sense of realism and everyday life that is remarkable. The calm of the pilots during the incident, the offbeat disorientation of the passengers during the situation, the strange tranquillity with which the rescuers approach the plane and ultimately the way in which the characters cope with the situation in the immediate aftermath, everything contributed into giving the film a real sense of the situation that was incredibly surprising and fresh to see. It gave the film its moments of greatest dramatic effect.

Of course, one couldn't go about reviewing the film without mentioning Tom Hanks, that seems to be the standard with all of his movies. I think that even in the very short span of time I have been doing it I have already run out of words to describe him: Saving Mr. Banks, Captain Philips, Cloud Atlas, Bridge of Spies, and now this. It is baffling to see how he still cannot manage to turn in a performance that is less than amazing. He is a real, authentic actor. When you see him on screen there is no filter to his performance, you see how he is really living the moment and it is always a pleasure to experience. Aaron Eckhart is great too and definitely the standout in the rest of the cast. He is someone that definitely deserves to be seen more in these kind of supporting roles as he always excels in them.

Overall Sully won't give the audience any kind of gut wrenching, white-knuckle experience because of its limited content, but the picture that Eastwood presents us with is as good of what we could have asked from it.

James' Score: 7/10

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