Sully: Film Review – Hanks Soars, Eastwood Scores!

Verdict: Exceptional and highly realistic portrayal of a real-life event. 
Movies love to portray real-life events, especially if they are worth reliving. The Titanic, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, All the President's Men are just a few examples of such movies. Notice how all of these films are well-acclaimed and have won many awards. Naturally, filmmakers draw inspiration from real stories for a great plot. One such filmmaker is Clint Eastwood. Jersey Boys, J. Edgar, Invictus, American Sniper, and the latest biographical drama Sully, are some of Eastwood’s best movies inspired by real events. Sully, which stars Tom Hanks, is based on the Miracle on the Hudson in January 2009, when the pilot landed a flight containing 155 people on the waters of the Hudson River, after the engines failed. Captain Sully was hailed as a hero for saving hundreds of lives. However, a detailed investigation into the event, threatened to ruin his reputation.

The story wastes no time, starting right from the aftermath of the landing. Sully (Tom Hanks) is still overwhelmed by all the media attention he is receiving after the water landing, which is prime news all over America. Since it is a national event, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation to get to the bottom of what went down on the plane that caused the Captain to make the decision to land on the river, instead of returning to the airport. Both Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) are brought to testify. However, after further investigation, the NTSB believe that reports and computerized tests prove that the plane could indeed be returned to the airport. After questioning his own decisions and grappling with his conscience, Sully stands by what he did. He saved the lives of all the passengers on that plane and that is what matters. 

Still from Sully - BookMyShow

The movie is probably the best account of that happened with US Airways Flight 1549, apart from the real Sully’s autobiography Highest Duty. Clint Eastwood has done a fantastic job of sticking to the story and making it look as realistic as possible. Tom Hanks is a great choice as the humble hero Sully, and the actor fit the role well. The film did not follow a chronological format, and that is what worked brilliantly for Eastwood. Starting from the aftermath and continuing to the investigation, the event itself was interspersed within the narrative. The investigation scene was tear-jerking, as it builds more sympathy for the Captain and even derives a few laughs. While Sully emerges as the hero, the efforts of the rescue team do not go underappreciated. The film has an underlying message that help comes to those who help themselves and that working together can make miracles happen. 
Why You Should Watch This Movie: 
While the movie may not resonate with the Indian audience as the events are based in the US, the team effort that rescued every single passenger on the doomed flight, makes this movie worth a watch. What could have been a disaster was averted with sheer presence of mind and timely efficiency. We Indians could learn a thing or two from that.

Release Date: 09 Sep, 2016
Language: English
Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Biography, Drama
Cast & Crew: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart

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