Just saw Flight. First of all, wow – what an intense crash scene. Overall it was a good movie, though it was probably 30 minutes too long. But for me it was hard to watch because of the subject matter. Alcoholism is exactly like that. A web of lies that doesn’t let go regardless of your circumstances. In my case it was losing everything that meant anything to me which lead to homelessness. Did that stop me? No. For Captain Whitaker it was crashing (and landing) a plane and killing six people, but was that enough to get him to stop? No. Sure, the movie is fiction, but the writer had a clear understanding of the disease as utterly relentless and based in lies. It’s a disease that convinces its host that there is no problem and that the people telling you that there’s a problem are the crazy ones. Also, alcoholics can’t merely ‘quit’ drinking to get sober – there must be a spiritual awakening. Must. My father quit. For a while. Then he went on a binge that ended with him dead in a motel room with one foot half lopped off from diabetes brought on by alcoholism. A man who was once a titan of industry with fifty men working for him – dying a penniless bum. He never had a spiritual awakening. He lacked hope.
It was a hard movie to watch. Too many people, and their families, suffer from this disease because it’s a legal drug whose manufacture and distribution employs a lot of people and its sales drive a lot of profit. Somehow it’s more romantic to be an active alcoholic in our society, than be a person who has come to terms with a physical/mental/spiritual flaw (that wants them dead) and relied on God to overcome it.
Anyway, Flight was worth the price of admission for the crash scene alone. There was also some really good use of symbolism throughout (for example the drug addict = hope, and the cancer patient = death.) It is not a kids movie.