Top 100 Films #99 Flight (2012)

Flight is an American drama starring the fantastic Denzel Washington. It is about a pilot, William ‘Whip’ Whitaker, that saves the lives of hundreds of people aboard a flight that suffers a mechanical failure. There is some controversy when it is found out that Whip was drunk while piloting the plane. The film follows the court case and the personal effects on Whip’s family and his battle with alcoholism.

This film is a shining example of why Denzel Washington is one of the greatest contemporary actors of our time. This film centers on his performances and it benefits from it. The audience gets to see how one man’s problem with alcohol can effect a whole web of people. Family, work, friends are all affected in some way with Whip relying on alcohol. This is a personal journey that starts to question your own morals. Yes he did this heroic thing off saving so many lives but to be intoxicated while flying endangers them to begin with.

Flight highlights issues of ego-centrism, refusing to get help and failure to realise your own problems. Washington’s performance entices you to sympathize with him even though he is morally unjustified in his actions. It brings up questions of the moral high ground and whether Whip was in the right. Its hard to watch because he constantly refuses to see that the alcohol wasn’t an issue because of the lives he saves.

This is one of the films that had me totally emotionally invested. The performances alone invites you to take a ride on what is an emotional roller coaster of trying to sympathize with an anti-hero. A person who has saved lives but had to break the law to do so. Does the end justify the means? This is a hard watch as you witness such a downward spiral. However, I implore anyone to give this a watch just for the performances alone.

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