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‘Flight’ was a truly remarkable movie portraying an alcoholic airline pilot named Whip Whitaker, played by Denzel Washington. The movie mainly focuses on character development, which is why Denzel Washington was the shining star for this movie. However, the cast also included impressive actors like Don Cheadle, who plays Whip’s attorney, as well as John Goodman, whose purpose is to act as the comic relief. Whip is obviously the main focus in this movie, but Cheadle and Goodman serve as spectacular supporting actors who help make the movie such a success.
What made the movie a success was Denzel Washington’s emotional portrayal of Whip. He clearly portrayed Whip’s aggression, charisma, flaws, and extreme alcoholism; he causes the audience to develop a love/hate relationship with Whip. The fact that the audience could not make up their mind about whether to like Whip was also an added element that made the movie interesting; most times, the protagonists in movies are either loved or hated, but Whip was both. Whip was definitely a hero, but he was also an intense alcoholic whose illness put others in danger several times and should really be in jail. However, despite Whip’s poor choices and obvious flaws, the audience cannot help connecting to him and ultimately rooting for him to succeed.
The main mystery behind ‘Flight’ was how Whip was able to land a plan and save nearly all of its passengers. The truth is that nobody should have been able to save them. After the crash, simulators were developed for other airline pilots to try to “save” the plane like Whip did, but everybody failed the simulator test. As the investigations unravel, Whip’s alcoholic tendency emerges to the surface and investigators suspect he was under the influence when he landed the plane. Interestingly enough, even though this definitely has some adrenaline pumping moments, mystery, and intrigue, it is not an action movie. The action and suspenseful moments take a sideline to the true purpose of the movie: to portray the life of an alcoholic hero.
Despite the fact that Denzel Washington did a superb job at playing Whip, it was disappointing that the movie was based more on following the life of an alcoholic rather than having more pulse-pounding action sequences. The audience was definitely able to connect with Whip, but it would have been nice to see more action throughout the movie. The movie was also a bit too long when it did not need to be. Despite these minor complaints about the movie, it is still worth seeing because of Denzel Washington’s brilliant performance.