Ever imagine riding in an airplane not knowing if it’ll land safely? Ever think that trusting a complete stranger to fly a plane could possibly be under the influence? ‘Flight’ focuses on that very subject. Two time Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a pilot that miraculously lands a broken plane, but through a thorough investigation stands trial for having a few drinks before flying.
‘Flight’ is filled with suspense, thrill and heart break. The film begins with Whip being completely drunk and high on drugs in a hotel room with one of his stewardesses (Nadine Velazquez). Velazquez, who portrays Katerina Marquez, is drunk, high and completely naked. The opening scene sets the tone for the film. It’s gritty, dirty and uncomfortable. Finally, when Whip and Katerina get out of bed and board their ill-fated flight, the audience witnesses Whip mixing alcohol into his orange juice. Within minutes, the plane departs, and trouble ensues. The plane was broken before the flight took place, and after it crashes, Whip is accused of being under the influence while piloting.
Denzel Washington does a fantastic job portraying an alcoholic who doesn’t believe he has a problem. The intensity that builds within his character is epic. Watching Whip struggle through not only crashing a plane and barely surviving, but struggling through his addiction was truly realistic. Just when the audience wants to believe he’s going to be okay, he’s back with a bottle to his mouth. One of the final scenes in ‘Flight’ is where the audience can understand and appreciate why Washington was nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. The amount of emotion that pours through his eyes is astonishing.
The film has a nice gritty, raw quality to it. Kelly Reilly portrays Nicole, another character facing her demons with drug addiction. The audience wants to root for Nicole, and hope that she can be the help Whip needs. Some scenes may be uncomfortable to watch due to Whip constantly drinking, and some scenes Nicole is shooting up drugs. John Goodman portrays Harling Mays, Whip’s dealer. He brings a little comedy to the dramatic film. Goodman is great as Whip’s close friend and again, the ridiculous character he plays brings a nice light quality to the film.
‘Flight’ is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a suspense thriller, filled with drugs, alcohol, and witnessing a highly successful man falter at the top and crumble to failure. ‘Flight’ is a heart wrenching drama that proves no matter how much someone has it put together; everyone has a battle to fight.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow night 7:00et/4:00pt on ABC for the 85th Annual Academy Awards and root for your favorite nominees to win!