Anthony's Film Review

Flightplan (2005)

Edge-of-your-seat, heart-stopping suspense from start to finish...

Flightplan is a good example of a suspense thriller that doesn't just expect you to be scared. It makes you scared. It takes advantage of various film techniques in order to achieve this. It also make a wise choice in having Jodie Foster play the lead role of a woman constantly pushed towards madness. Then there is the setting: the inside of a commercial airplane at 30,000 feet. In other words, an enclosed and isolated space where no one could escape and where a lot could possibly happen. The result is that the whole movie is greater than the sum of all of its parts.

The suspense revolves around a woman who boards a plane with her 6-year-old daughter. When I say it revolves around this, I also refer to the moments before the little girl disappears. There are scenes in the beginning that will eventually make you guess several possibilities, the main two being that something happens to the girl and that the woman is just imagining having a daughter. The element of mystery is played out here quite well. As events occur in the story, there are more possibilities to consider. In the end, the answer to the puzzle is something that many people may not guess successfully.

In real life, a missing child that was just seen on the plane would be taken very seriously, especially in this post-9/11 world. Also in real life, the child could not have gone anywhere too far since the plane does not have many hiding places. Not in this movie. In Flightplan, the airplane is a gigantic commercial airplane with not only three sections of seats, each with a television in front of every seat, but also two levels of it. So the woman's missing daughter, if she were hidden somewhere, could be under a seat, in the overhead compartment, or in a lavatory on either the top level or the bottom level. In addition, there are many other nooks and crannies, including compartments and spaces that are off-limits to everyone except technicians and highly authorized personnel.

It is hard to turn away from the screen when the story constantly gets intense, especially as Jodie Foster becomes increasingly desperate. After all, she has no allies. Peter Saarsgard is an air marshal who keeps a constant eye on her. Sean Bean is the pilot who first offers to help but soon believes she is delusional. With nobody to trust and everyone to suspect, she reaches a breaking point. She does, however, stand her ground. It is from this that she does not truly lose her mind. Instead, she acts with intelligence and cunning wit in order to finally uncover the answer.

I really loved being immersed in the film and experiencing what the screenwriter and director wanted the audience the feel. The camera angles and shots were arranged very nicely to produce the effect of suspense. The cast did a very good job, especially Jodie Foster. And I wasn't disappointed by the end. I liked how everything wrapped up and how creative the ultimate surprise was. Flightplan may be a typical suspense film for some, but I can say that it's done so well that it's one of the best suspense films in the early 21st century.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Flightplan, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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