Monday, September 19, 2016

Sully: Monday, September 12 2015

Sully is a highly gripping film. Directed by Clint Eastwood, it holds the attention throughout. It was fascinating to be in the cockpit of Airways Flight 1549 that was landed by it pilot, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, on the Hudson River. To my surprise, I found I was deeply moved when it became obvious the depth of his heroism and professionalism in keeping his head, deciding what to do, and doing it. Also the professionalism of his co-pilot and the rest of the crew.

A flock of Canadian Geese being sucked into the engines had put both engines out of action. Fortunately for everyone, Sully was a pilot with 40 years experience, and his instincts guided him in his actions. His co-pilot, Jeff, trusted him and worked with him. They brought the plane down safely on the river, and saved all 155 people aboard. If this story were fiction, probably it would be considered too far-fetched.

Within minutes, the New York first responders were on the scene. Ferries were diverted to take passengers from the flight on board. Helicopters plucked people from the river before they died of hypothermia. Not one passenger died. All were saved.

The film also deals with the normal enquiry that had to be held afterwards. To an outsider, the process may seems unduly harsh, but has to be gone through. Insurance claims are one of the important reasons this has to be done. Everyone understands that, but it may have been as tense as the film indicates for Captain Sullenberger and his co-pilot, Jeffrey Skiles, until the final judgement was given.

Even although we know the story of Sully, and it's outcome, this film is enthralling. The screenplay is written by Todd Komarnicki, based on the autobiography Highest Duty. The direction by Clint Eastwood, is, of course, by a professional master. The acting by Tom Hanks as Captain Sullenberger, is equally masterful. First Officer Jeff Skiles is played by Aaron Eckhart. He, and the rest of the cast, are also masters of their craft (pun unintended!). A must see, it would be unbelievable if Sully is not among the Oscar nominations for this year.

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