The dream collaboration of legends- Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood! The best part is the film doesn’t disappoint. Tom Hanks has been giving one extra-ordinary performance after another and so is the captain of the ship- Mr Clint Eastwood.
On Jan. 15, 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) tries to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 strikes a flock of geese. Miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive the harrowing ordeal, and Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. Despite the accolades, the famed pilot now faces an investigation that threatens to destroy his career and reputation.
The incident occurs for 208 seconds and we have 96 min film. It was a daunting task to make the audience reconnect with the ordeal.
For me, whose not from USA and oblivious to this incident (was a kid at that time.) this film still manages to keep me at the edge of my seat. It is a very well made Film.
The film gives us an insight in to Sully’s life. We hear that he has over 40 years of experience flying planes. Most people would have kept it as an audio clip but not Mr Clint Eastwood. He makes Sully a worthy hero for the film in spite being a commoner. Don’t get me wrong, normal people do not make an interesting main character.
Sully and Skiles aren’t your heroes, they do not have a romantic leads, they don’t suddenly get in to fights; they do not battle otherworldly beings. They are your everyday working people whom you might even look twice. Such mundane characters, one life changing moment! That’s Sully for you.
Director- Mr Clint Eastwood.
No one is qualified enough to speak about this man! I certainly am not. He’s been working at the time when my grandfather was in college!!
I am not a fan of Clint Eastwood as an actor but more so as him being the camera! I have loved his work from Mystic River to Sully! He has a distinct vision and a captivating way to narrate a story. He is a masterful story teller. In Sully, I cannot stress enough the way he itched out the characters. All of 24 minutes incident was never so beautifully unfolded in to a film!
Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart-
One’s a legendary actor and the other has immortalised Two-Face!
They both are Sully and Skiles respectively. In no frame have they slipped nor can you see the mannerism falter. Aaron has additional responsibility to ease the tension and deliver witty one liner. He does so with ease.
Tom Hanks has a very normal face. He doesn’t have the Greek-God like physique. The best part is he is relatable. No matter what he portrays, audience relates to him instantly. Without emoting much, he conveys far more with is eyes. Just from his eyes, audience understands what must have been going on in his head. Why did he make the decision that he made? There was no better choice other than Tom Hanks!
Editing– It is often referred to as an “invisible art “ because when it is done well, the audience is so engaged in the story, they aren’t aware of the editing, technique, the work involved in putting together all the shots into a cohesive sequence.
It applies here very much so. The film engrosses you from the get go.
Cinematography– It wasn’t overwhelming the story. The camera was steady for almost the entire duration and that was refreshing. Often, directors opt for shaky /handheld camera style for depicting high tension scenarios but not Mr Eastwood. He deliberately kept it steady and clean. The bluish tone of the film sets the mood perfectly. The use of primary colour palette was a good choice.
VFX– The entire water landing on the Hudson was beautifully constructed. Again, Mr Clint Eastwood didn’t rely on vfx and flashy camera work. He gave preference to story. The birds, I feel could have been done better but overall, the vfx was up to the mark.
Lastly, I want to bring attention to a small part in making biographies. There are people who glorify the protagonist; he/she completely overshadows the story; he/she becomes your typical heroes. Now, take a look at film made by Martin Scorcese and Clint Eastwood. In their films, they might behave abnormally but they never never overshadow the story. The main characters always lead the story.
Sully is an excellent example on how to make an ordinary main character into a relatable protagonist.
My verdict – 4/5.