By Alana Ferrone
On Jan. 15, 2009, the world learned the name of Captain Chelsey B. Sully Sullenberger, III, because of his heroic emergency landing of a plane on the Hudson River. Clint Eastwood’s new film, “Sully,” gives unique insight into the man, after the world proclaimed him a hero.
The film opens with captain Sully, played by Tom Hanks, and his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, played by Aaon Eckhart, flying over New York City. In the first few scenes of the film, I was overwhelmed with feelings of suspense and anxiety.
The tension is cut when we see Captain Sully wake up in his hotel room, sweaty and shaking.
Throughout the film, there are constant themes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It’s easy for the public to view Sully as a hero, but we often forget that he is also a man who had a near death experience.
In addition to the personal and emotional trials that plagued captain Sully following the landing on the Hudson, he and Skiles also underwent an investigation that could have potentially cost them both their jobs.
While the world praised Sully for his success, United States Airways questioned whether or not flight 1549 could have made it to one of three nearby airports for an emergency landing.
The combination of the pressure of new fame, the risk of losing his job, and financial troubles at home are clearly showcased in the film, along with the comradery that he found with Skiles.
Throughout the film, the two offered support to one another that could have only been understood by them.
In addition, Eastwood made it clear that Sully was not the only hero on Jan. 15, 2009. Eastwood showcased the efforts of the Coastguard, the New York Police Department (NYPD), and the flight attendants who were aboard flight 1549.Together, all 155 passengers survived the landing.
In addition, it is shown that Captain Sully did not view himself as a hero, and often resented the attention that he received as a result of his new celebrity.
In fact, one of his many nightmares was a television news reporter questioning if he was truly a hero or a fraud? As a result of his various nightmares, the audience gained insight into his own self-doubt and insecurities.
Along with his internal conflict, Sully also faced money problems and the difficult strains that distance had put on his marriage with his wife, Lorrie Sullenberger, played by Laura Linney.
The manner in which Lorrie is portrayed in the film to be very interesting. The audience sees her bombarded by paparazzi in the midst of her husband’s rising fame, as well as her realization that she could have lost her husband when he landed the plane.
Audiences will be very impressed with Eastwood’s humanization of a world-renowned hero. “Sully” shows us that being a hero is not always simple, especially when your integrity is in question.
In short, “Sully” is definitely worth seeing in theaters. The film gives a fresh take on a widely known story and allows viewers to see an American hero in a new and refreshing light.