Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Clint Eastwood keeps it wonderfully simple in Sully as he had done it in Gran Torino


Clint Eastwood, who has produced and directed Sully, is 86 years old. It is a significant fact. For the last few years, Eastwood is focused on telling a story as directly as possible, and also to see the positive aspect of the story. It is not subversive. It is not pretend to be bold to be seeing the darker side of life. He made Million Dollar Baby in 2004, when he was 73. It was a simple story, full of feelings but not sentimental. He directed two-part movie, Flags Of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, in 2006. I have seen Iwo Jima, and it tells the story of the war not from the point of view of the United States or Japan, but from the viewpoint of a Japanese officer, who has friends among Americans. In 2008, he made Gran Torini, a wonderfully heartwarming story of South Korean immigrants to America.

Eastwood seems to have arrived at an age when it is not important to be innovative to prove his artistry.He can afford to be simple, and at this stage of his life he is only interested in the simple things of life. Now he brings Sully and makes the very simple point that the human factor is the most important thing even now when we are surrounded by technology. He shows that computer-generated simulations of the aeroplane that Sully, the pilot with over 40 years of flying,in the Hudson do not show the importance of human judgment. Tom Hanks, playing Sully, is indeed best suited for the role. Both Eastwood and Hanks seem to believe in the simple ideals of American life, of being true in thee midst of complexity and many failures.

But Sully remains a great movie because he does not focus so much on the crash-landing on the Hudson river as much as he does on the federal civil aviation authority wanting to find out pilot error. The control room messages show that Sully was asked to go to the nearest airport for emergency landing after a bird-hit, which incapacitate both the engines. The simulations show that he could have followed the instructions of the air traffic controller. But the video rewind of the crash-landing shows how damaged the engines were, and how the dexterity of the experienced pilot saved the day. Sully is an ordinary American, and he becomes an overnight hero for the safe landing on the water and thereby saving the lives of all the passengers. But he is made to face the federal authority's inquiry.

The screenplay is so tight that the simple and straightforward story keeps you riveted.
It is the kind of straightforwardness one saw in Satyajit Ray's Agantuk and Mrinal Sen's Amar Bhuvan.
There is a serenity when the directors set out to tell a story when they are over the hill, and when they are considerably old.

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