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Sully (2016) Review: The Impossible Return to LaGuardia

Sully (2016) Review: The Impossible Return to LaGuardia
YENİ DÖNGÜ

By Hazal Senkoyuncu

Warning: Spoilers below.

 

Sully (2016) is another phenomenal film directed by Clint Eastwood; it is based on Captain Sullenberger’s (or ‘Sully’) emergency landing on the Hudson river in 2009. The US Airways Flight 1549 gets hit by a flock of geese shortly upon its leave from LaGuardia Airport, NY. Both engines break down due to the unfortunate event, and as a result, the airplane loses altitude rapidly. The airport suggests returning to LaGuardia, which would eventually result in a brutal crash. Sullenberger is able to compute the inevitable and makes the decision to land on the Hudson. Thus, the event as well as the movie are referred to as “the miracle on Hudson”—In 2009, Captain Sullenberger’s decision saved every single one of the 155 people in the flight with little to no injuries, and he became a national hero.

 

While the film finds its origins in the book, Highest Duty (2009) by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow, it most certainly lets the audience experience more than the events itself. The film starts the event’s investigation in New York and Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) plays back the incident in his mind. There is a dual image present throughout the film: The investigation of the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) symbolizes the machinery function of the government whereas the pain that Sully experiences during the investigation process shows his humanity. Hanks performs one of his best acting, which creates a sharp contrast and highlights this duality alongside the partially negative portrayal of the NTSB officials.

 

The mentioned portrayal of the NTSB created some controversy upon the release of the film. While the film claims to be based on real events, Captain Sullenberger himself mentioned the audience might get the wrong impression about the NTSB investigators. He said, “These are people who are not prosecutors”, and according to Hanks, the script eliminated the real names of the investigators immediately. In conclusion, it may be true to say that the dramatic duality effect provided an intense viewer experience while confirming that the script may simply be “loosely based” on the events itself. Or, it may be proof for Sullenberger’s humble personality as shown in Sully.

 

Sully is emotionally triggering, real, and intense—It will surely keep you on the edge your seat.

 

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