Flightplan is a psychological thriller that takes place almost entirely
on an air-born jumbo jet en route to New York, from Berlin. Jodie
Foster plays Kyle, a mother who find that her daughter is missing after
awaking from a nap. The jet also carries Kyle's husband, who recently
died and rests in his casket in the cargo hold below. Kyle becomes
increasingly frantic as she searches the plane for her daughter without
success. The crew becomes adversarial, writing her off as a loony when
they check the flight manifesto and find no record of her daughter ever
being on board. Thus enters the psychological component of the film.
Not only is the audience confused as to what has happened, but Kyle,
after speaking with an on-board psychiatrist, also begins to have
doubts about her own psychological stability in the wake of her
husband's death. No one is sure what to believe, until a subtle clue
jolts Foster back to reality, and back to her MacGuyver like maneuvers
to attempt to recover her lost daughter.
It's an interesting premise, and oddly similar to Foster's previous film, Panic Room, in which her maternal character is forced into a confined space with no outlet. In keeping with most of Foster's performances, she plays a strong-willed, intelligent woman who overcomes difficult circumstances. As expected, Foster delivers, and pulls the audience into the story. I was disappointed, however. Foster has more to offer than Flightplan is capable of giving her. Flightplan, while entertaining, remains among those psychological-thrill-rides that are only as successful as their audience is unsuccessful in knowing the truth during the course of the film. To achieve this, the film has to throw a slew of false leads and suspicious looking characters into early shots in order to have the audience questioning.
I'm not fond of this technique. It's possible to keep the audience in suspense, and guessing without trickery. To me, this degrades the integrity of a storyline.
I was pulled in by the impressive marketing campaign of Flightplan and went to theaters excited. The film lived up to the aesthetic advertised -- a slick blue hue that reminds the audience of the snowfall in Berlin, the death of a husband and father, and the unfortunate and unforgiving circumstances that have befallen Kyle and her young daughter. And while this makes for a very sleek looking film, in the end, the fantastical, convoluted storyline cannot be realistically reconciled. I left the theater feeling somewhat cheated. While I realize it was a story and therefore ought to be granted a liberal amount of leniency when it comes to plausibility, Flightplan went to far outside the realm of conceivability. There were too many factors that had to conspire in favor of one person for the films storyline to hold together.
The real problem with Flightplan is that the more you think back, the more you become frustrated with how inconceivable the whole charade was; the more you become irritated with how often you were lead to wonder about something eventually irrelevant. There are some films that don't give you all the answers and pull you along on a suspenseful ride, and leave you feeling fulfilled when you finally figure everything out, and everything fits together. Flightplan concludes, you know the culprit, and then you think back, and nothing fits together.
Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
The husband of aviation engineer Kyle Pratt has just died in Berlin. Now she is flying back to New York with his coffin and their six-year-old daughter Julia. Three hours into the flight Kyle awakens to find that Julia is gone! It's a big double-decker plane, so very concerned mother has a lot of territory to cover in order to find her daughter. But as Kyle fights to discern the truth, she takes matters into her own hands.
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August 25, 2011 at 05:23 AM