During last one year, Indian audiences have been exposed to a lot of cinema and web series coming from the West (or the East), courtesy the OTT channels. I also happened to come across a couple of films set in the sky where an airplane finds itself in an impossible situation, Hollywood hijack thriller 7500 and Chinese disaster genre film The Captain. This is also something that had set me thinking that why hasn’t Bollywood tried out something in this genre. Yes, there has been Sonam Kapoor starrer Neerja but that was more of a human
drama. However, how about a relentless action thriller set in the sky?
Well, the answer is Flight. The promo gave an indication of something special in the making but frankly, the 110 minute film far exceeded the expectations that I carried from this Mohit Chaddha starrer that is put together by debutant director Suraj Joshi. What strikes you about the film is that it comes to the point right away. A flight crashes and the black box needs to be recovered. Even as the airplane manufacturers find themselves in the eye of the storm, their Managing Director (Mohit Chaddha, carrying a good screen presence and the right mix of intensity and sense of humour) takes it upon himself to find the right answers. Little does he know then that a sinister plot is being woven around to eliminate him from the face of the earth, and that too from a disappearing plane in the sky.
With a plot like this, either a film can get into a predictable zone by following the usual tropes or get way too claustrophobic, considering the entire narrative is inside a plane, and that too a small size one considering it’s chartered. Moreover, there is also a risk of a depressing mood setting in since to have one man find himself all alone in a hopeless situation, a la Rajkummar Rao in Trapped, can turn out to be rather heavy.
Thankfully, that doesn’t turn out to to be the case in Flight which stays thoroughly entertaining right through and unfolds as a relentless action thriller sans any dull moment. My barometer for gauging interest level in a film is by seeing how many times did I pick my phone in between to check my messages. In Flight, except for the interval (which comes at a superb point in the narrative), I stayed away from my phone, which is a big win for any movie in the current times.
What impresses most is the fact that once Mohit finds himself in a rather impossible situation, he blends humour along with the tense situation, something that keeps the movie going. Even the dialogues mouthed by him, even though to himself, do not come across a forced monologue. There is a scene featuring an important character that pops up on a screen, and that only adds on to the fun element. Meanwhile, the rescue mission led by Mohit’s mentor and uncle (Pawan Malhotra) is alright to begin with but gathers pace (with good fun too) once the Arabic officer (played really well by Shibani Bedi) comes on the scene. There are at least a couple of moments here that lead to full throated laughter even in the tense situation.
This is the reason why you love the film the most when it stays on to be edge of the seat, as a result of which the opening action sequence seems like an aberration. A hand to hand fight between Mohit and a few goons aims to establish the character but you like it more once the setting shifts to the swanky airplane. Yes, other than the key lead actors (Mohit Chaddha, Pawan Malhotra, Zakir Hussain, Vivek Vaswani, Shibani Bedi), rest of the actors in the background are just about passable. In fact a few just go through the motions, especially in the control tower scenes. However, these are just minor points in the bigger scheme of things as 80% of the film is set in the sky and this is where the action and drama is.
What further elevates the film into emerging as a definite watch this season are the technical aspects. Be it the VFX(which dominates the proceedings), background score (stylish and uplifting), production design (classy), editing (fast paced with quick shot cuts) or cinematography (eye catchy), just about everything comes together to make Flight a polished watch.
Go for it, you won’t regret taking this flight!