Film Review: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

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Sully.jpgAmazon Synopsis: On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard.

However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

Film: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

Director: Clint Eastwood

Date: 2016

I have to admit, I only heard of Sully: Miracle on the Hudson because my parents wanted to watch it. After hearing it recommended from a friend, I decided it would be a good film to watch.

It’s always tricky reviewing these ones based on true events: you can’t comment on the plot or the characters in the same way as they are real people and the way events unfolded. But there is still plenty to talk about: the impressive way they used footage in order to replicate the plane’s “crash”, for one thing – filming the river and boats, then inserting footage of the plane over the top – and would you know it looking at it? I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been genuine footage from the crash.

The plot follows Captain Sully – the captain of the plane that was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson river after both engines failed. Despite being hailed as a hero and everyone making it out alive, Sully’s reputation and career were put on the line when questions were asked about whether he could have made it back to an airport or not.

Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.

The film brings to light the intense pressure he was placed under. The focus was constantly what should have happened, rather than what did, and everyone forgot the fact that all the passengers and crew survived. It really makes you think about what anyone in that sort of career must face if something goes wrong.

It was interesting reading the trivia surrounding the making of this film. The real Sully got involved with the production of the film, understandable given how personal it must be to him. This involved him being present at the studio and spending time with Tom Hanks to help make the film realistic.

Moments such as Clint Eastwood not rehearsing releasing the life craft in order to show how difficult it is added depth to the film – it felt realistic and that was because, for him at that moment, it was. There were also apparently quite a few moments where Hanks and Eckhart were acting as they saw fit; their movements were unscripted.

This approach made the film a powerful one. I had my heart in my mouth – and not when the plane initially crashed. It was during the simulations, when the board were trying to prove that he could have made it back, that I found myself praying they couldn’t do it, that he had been right all along. No one who successfully saved that many lives should be put under that kind of microscope.

It was strange watching a film about an historic event that I can recall happening. It brought to mind the pictures after the event occurred and it was good to see hints of reality such as the hotel where the survivors were actually taken. I would strongly recommend this film; well-acted and a moving and heartfelt look back at what could have easily been a disaster.

Amazon | HMV

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