The date is January 15, 2009. 155 people are on flight 1549, flying out of LaGuardia Airport. During takeoff, birds fly through the engines, causing dual engine failure. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger realized that it was not possible for him to make it back to the airport, despite what others suggested. He made an emergency water landing on the Hudson river, and all 155 passengers survived, but much controversy was had on whether he made the right choice. People said that the left engine was still working, and he could have made it back to the airport.
Fast forward a little over 7 years. Friday, September 9, 2016, the movie Sully released in theatres, based on the true story of The Miracle On The Hudson. Sully is directed by Clint Eastwood, and portrayed by Tom Hanks (Sully, Captain), Aaron Eckhart (Jeff Skiles, Co-Captain) and Laura Linney (Lorrie, Sully’s wife) along with supporting actors/actresses Valerie Mahaffey (Diane Higgins), Mike O’Malley (Charles Porter) and many more.
Tom Hanks did a phenomenal job and was able to portray his character in a way that tugged at the audience’s heart strings. A very widely known actor for films such as Forrest Gump and Cast Away, it is no surprise that audiences can feel like they are there, or in the courtroom or on the plane. Laura Linney also had an outstanding performance, portraying Sully’s other half, Lorrie. Audiences feel sympathy for Lorrie, which wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for her amazing portrayal. Between the three main characters, including Aaron Eckhart (Jeff Skiles), you feel like you’re really in the action and can get engrossed in the movie.
One of the best parts of the movie is before the credits roll. You see the surviving passengers list their seat numbers, and then the real captain explain the power behind the number, and how many people that one number affects: wife, children, friends. It is very powerful and you can connect the movie to the real life story.
The movie prompts questions to engage the audience. For example, why does it matter if Sully landed in the Hudson if everybody survived? Why didn’t the co-captain, Jeff Skiles, get very much recognition? It is as if the movie is trying to give the audience some new morals: If the outcome is the same, whether they did it your way or not, then why does it matter? Furthermore, no hero can do it completely alone because he will always have an amazing team behind him, making the victories possible.
These questions and morals help the presentation of the movie because they make the audience look further than the movie and at themselves, which makes the movie all the more meaningful and powerful.