begins with a swift introduction to Kyle Pratt [Jodie Foster], a woman who
is hinted to be a little off her rocker due to the sudden death of her husband.
Supporting a daughter who is also not the coldest beer in the fridge, Pratt
decides that the best move she can make for her remaining family is to immediately
leave Berlin and go live with the parents for a while in New York. Thanks
to a couple of sleeping pills mixed with anxiety medication, Kyle Pratt
falls asleep and later wakes up mid-flight to find her daughter missing.
Usually this would be no big deal, considering that the plane in which they
are on, a 474, is giant and that her daughter, Julia, has been known to
wander. However, after an initial search of the plane, Kyle begins to panic.
There are three elements that are simply sensational
in Flightplan. The first of which is Jodie Foster herself. Playing
the role of emotionally distraught mother, Foster is more than convincing
as she slowly begins to lose her cool with each empty cupboard and closet
opened with no result. Add in the fact that all the evidence points against
her claim that she even brought a daughter on board the plane, and even
we begin to wonder about the level of sanity that Kyle Pratt had when boarding
the flight. Who do we trust, Kyle Pratt's motherly instincts or evidence
such as the seating chart, morgue employee and lack of a boarding pass?
The second element is how clean this film is. The film looks as if it was
almost waxed and polished after coming out of the camera. Featuring wonderful
lighting and amazing clarity, Flightplan allows us to take close-up
looks on many of the characters / passengers faces in stunning hi-resolution.
What this means is that we can see the glare in Foster's tears [she cries
a lot in this film] and the look of frustration from Sean Bean and other
crewmembers on the plane. The film is so clean, that you wonder if this
story is taking place in the future.
The final element that most will not even consider
when leaving the theatre is the psychological experiment of how people are
willing to alter their memories and impressions when they are told a conflicting
statement, or even questioned, by a person in a superior position. When
Pratt first questions one of the flight attendants about her missing child,
the flight attendant responds as if she remembers seeing the child come
on the plane. However, after most, including the air marshal, claim that
there probably was no child, this same flight attendant changes her story
that she cannot remember either way; though Kyle and her daughter Julia
walked right by this same person while boarding the plane. Could the alteration
of memory cause people you count on to all side against you? In Pratt's
case, the answer is a strong yes.
Flightplan also features a great tempo, at least, for the first
two-thirds of the film. The build up of suspense during this period of the
film is so well done that you try to imagine how you would respond if either
you were in Kyle Pratt's position or that of a passenger. However, when
the final third of the film kicks into gear the tempo begins to fluctuate
all over the map with some scenes taking too long and others happening too
quick. The film also gets a touch bit silly, with scenes that make you wish
you could go back to the part of the film where you had no idea on what
the hell was going on.
In the end, Flightplan could have only ended with two-outcomes
and the one that was chosen by Robert Schwentke [director] was definitely
the more real. The issue with this is that there will be many moviegoers
entering the theatres to see something that dives even further into the
human psyche or offers a dish similar to Sixth Sense. But Flightplan
is not that type of film, even though it would like you to think it is.