Dmitri's Review of Flight
Top Movies of 2012: #10
Flight is one of those movies that gets better as time passes; its such a well-made movie bolstered by a strong performance from Denzel Washington and great performances by the supporting cast. The movie is less about the Flight itself but more about its main character Whip and his struggle with alcoholism. The movie is basically a character study of an alcoholic, and what happens when one become addicted to the substance. We see various aspects of his life deteriorate, but he's fine with it since he's getting his alcohol, he can't control his addiction and easily gives in to temptation. The flight simply acts as a catalyst for curing his alcoholism as it is brought into light. In the end, Whip has to face his web of lies and fix his problem. The plot as a whole is well-written, intriguing, and complex and Denzel Washington does a great job of bringing his flawed character to life. Flight is a movie we as a people can relate to since alcoholism is always present in our society.
Original Review: Flight is a movie that got my attention from the moment I saw the trailer. After watching the movie, I was slightly underwhelmed, but as time passed, Flight got so much better. But why was this? Its because of Flight's main character Whip Whitaker, being such a compelling character to follow, and the message the movie portrays.
Denzel Washington plays the main character, and he NAILS the role. He puts on such an amazing performance as Whip, that we genuinely want him to give up his addictions, and we want to see him escape from the courts. This is not because he's a good person, he's quite the opposite, but because he's so selfish and careless, as a result of his addictions. There's a good guy in there, and we want to see him emerge. Denzel Washington should be commended for making us believe this character exists, and making us care so much. Why do we care so much? Because he represents a family member or friend we have who is an alcoholic.
Flight is not about the actual flight, but about Whip's addiction to alcohol. He has a serious problem, capable of endangering the lives of hundreds, but has gone on for years without anyone noticing. This allows his condition to worsen as he isn't confronted about it. His family life has died out, love life ruined, but he takes not much heed because of his addiction. Real-Life alcoholics suffer from this same problem everyday, and its not until their problem is brought to light that they notice what is wrong with them. In this movie, his problem is brought to light by the plane crash, and the investigation into what went wrong. Several alcohol bottles are found, and Whip tries to cover up his story. What makes Flight great, is the final moments, where the Whip as well as real-alcoholics have to make a conscious decision to change and accept their consequences. The plot as a whole, serves to tell us a story about alcoholism and show the viewer what one must do to overcome it. Of course, it is presented in such a way that its not tedious to the viewer, but captures our attention, and this is where the flight and crash comes in. It is woven so well into the main plot, yet never takes away from the primary message.
One more thing I'll commend the movie on is the crash itself. This part is not only well detailed, but also terrifying, due to the supporting cast, the effects, the slow detailed failure of the plane, and Whip is so calm during it, that we end up liking his character and see the good in him while experiencing what is some of our greatest fears.
Flight is a movie about its main character, everything centers to bring his alcoholism to light, and to develop his character, Denzel's performance is just icing on the cake. Flight succeeds as the character study, as well as a compelling movie that most of us can relate to.