‘Sully’ captivates the nation

Tom Hanks as Sully and Aaron Eckhart as Jeff Skiles

Photo courtesy of collider.com

Tom Hanks as Sully and Aaron Eckhart as Jeff Skiles

Christine Ohanyan, Section Editor

Clint Eastwood’s Sully, starring Tom Hanks, is a breathtaking re-creation of the true events that took place in 2009, when US Airways Flight 1549 faced a bird strike, lost both engines and crashed into the Hudson River, whilst the lives of all 155 passengers were miraculously preserved. The film’s excellence circulates around the fact that it provides an entirely new perspective that reaches far beyond any news report of  this ground-breaking world event: it illustrates the career-threatening criticism that the flight’s pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger, “Sully,” faced following the incident, regardless of the fact that his skill and determination saved the life of every passenger aboard his plane.

In addition to excruciatingly detailed re-enactments of the actual plane crash, which created a veil of intensity so prevalent that the viewer can reach out and touch it, the film mostly consists of Sully’s prolonged confrontation with US Airways representatives, who insinuated that there was a much safer way to land the plane that would simultaneously keep it intact and not cost the airline countless dollars in insurance. If their conjecture were true, it would most likely cost the pilot his job.

Sully’s family life is also revealed in the film, causing the viewer to feel an immense amount of sympathy and root for him to prove his case in order to maintain his career.

The outcome of the investigation illustrates the theme of the whole movie and Eastwood’s possible intent on making the film. After it was revealed that Sully’s decision to land on water was the only one that could possibly yield a safe result with respect to human error, it became clear that the primary reason this investigation took place at all was because the cost of the incident was a greater priority to the airline company than the lives of the passengers, a fact so absurd that one would find it unbelievable this movie is based on a true story.  

The underlying theme of the importance of humanity and the manifestation of greed is perfectly executed by a chronologically disoriented plot, allowing the observer to see the aftermath of the plane crash first and retrospectively view the actual event in a series of flashbacks so intense that they are almost joint-stiffening. The film is superb, which is to be expected from such an extraordinary historic event as the miracle of the 2009 Hudson plane crash.