Today I saw Flight, starring Denzel Washington and Kelly Reilly.
Whip Whitaker (Washington) is an addict. He likes his cocaine, he likes his women and he loves his drink. He's also a reliable, successful commercial airline pilot.
On a routine flight when the weather gets bad, Whip recovers the plane from horrible turbulence. Later, a technical malfunction causes the plane to nosedive and it's the quick thinking and actions of the pilot that result in a crash landing, which only causes six deaths.
When he wakes from his injuries, he's celebrated as a hero as his legal team works fiercely to hide the fact he could also be a criminal based on the amount of drugs he had in his system at the time of the flight.
At this point, the film shifts from being a suspense thriller to a difficult-to-watch, yet can't-take-your-eyes-off-of-it story of addiction.
Washington and Kelly Reilly, who plays his addicted girlfriend Nicole, are nothing short of superb in communicating the silence and sadness that haunt the lives of those who can't stop. Their situations are authentic and their struggles are common—in fact, since *Leaving Las Vegas*, I can't think of any film that's been as good at showing the raw behaviors of addiction.
What's more, it's difficult to determine who or what you should be rooting for as a viewer, which makes the dissection of the story all that more complex.
Robert Zemeckis is one of my favorite directors and I'm thrilled to see that he's crafted another film that's accessible to the mainstream, yet still sophisticated enough to keep the savvy filmgoers satisfied.
I can recommend this for just about any adult, except for those who are perhaps afraid of flying (the crash scene is beyond intense).