Screenwriter: Todd Komarnicki
Based on the book written by: Chesley “SULLY” Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow.
Director of Photography: Tom Stern
Composers: Christian Jacob and The Tierney Sutton Band
Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart; Laura Linney.
“I’ve got 40 years in the air, but in the end I’m gonna be judged on 208 seconds.”
SULLY is the story of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, where pilot Captain Chesley ‘SULLY’ Sullenberger makes an emergency landing with 155 people on board onto the Hudson River in New York.
I remember hearing about the incident on the news back in 2009 and was amazed, along with the rest of the world, by the bravery of such a decision and the skill to actually land without a single soul lost.
But good deeds don’t go unpunished.
What I didn’t realise was the scrutiny Sully experienced by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the nightmares and distress experienced by the pilot, Sully, and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart).
SULLY was a brilliantly cast film with the resemblance to the real-life crew unmistakable. The lead role, Captain Sullenberger, played by Hanks, called for a calm character who showed honesty and strength, which Hanks, of course, plays very well.
But like the character, the film was also dry and calm; the control held firmly in the hands of director Clint Eastwood.
As Hanks states, ‘Sometimes you read something that is so stirring and at the same time so simple, such a perfect blend of behaviour and procedure.’
The film focuses on the aftermath and the technicalities undertaken for the emergency landing. And there was such restraint used that even the dramatic event of the landing also had an overriding feeling of calm. So the film felt a little too even for my taste. Certainly, no-one can accuse Eastwood of over-dramatising!
There was also the element that we all know what’s coming; how it’s all going to end. It was more about the fleshing out of the story.
SULLY is an amazing story with great acting. I loved that the film makers recruited many of the people who were there that day to reenact what happened.
I just wasn’t blown away.
This is a story of a 40 year veteran who had seconds to make a life or death decision for 155 people. And he did his job. That’s the tone of the movie. A truthful re-telling without too many dramatics.
The story was played out with clever devices like dream sequences made real, personal perspectives from the passengers and flash-backs to build the suspense, but as stated before, we already know what’s going to happen!
If you’re interested in the story, this is a great film; if you’re looking for a lot of action, you’ll be disappointed.
I’m somewhere in-between: a solid movie but no real surprises.
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