Such is life. I guess being judged for something bad that you’ve done is OK, because it’s probably appropriate.
But how do you explain being judged for doing something really good? Something as good as saving the lives of 155 passengers aboard a downed airliner - a truly heroic act.
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger certainly wasn’t spared judgement back in 2009 when he successfully made an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after the US Airways Flight 1549 under his command was hit by a flock of geese just minutes after takeoff.
In the latest American biographical drama film Sully, Captain Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) says, “I’ve delivered a million passengers over 40 years, but in the end I’m going to be judged by 280 seconds.”
That 280 seconds changed the life of this US Airways captain.
Sullenberger was hailed a national hero by the public and the media but faced an investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which suggested the left engine of Sullenberger’s Airbus was still running at idle after the strike.
Theoretically, they suggested, he could have landed the plane safely at the nearest airport. And they surmised that rather than making an emergency landing “in” the Hudson River (First Officer Jeffery Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) later more correctly described it as “on” the river), Sullenberger put the lives of his passengers and crew in danger.
NTSB also did live demonstrations using flight simulators, using data from the crash to prove that the plane could have landed at an airport.
Sullenberger, who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident, faced a tough trial saving his reputation and career.
Sully is a one-man show. Hanks, who puts in a terrific performance once again with deceptive ease, delicately plays a man who repeatedly questions his inner convictions on whether he made the right choice.
Sporting a full head of white hair and salt and pepper mustache, Hanks looks every inch of the real life Sullenberger.
Great actors deliver believable performances and just as he has in his previous movies, the Oscar-winning star delivers another award winning performance.
If Hanks hold Sully together, then the man who solves the puzzle perfectly in the story behind the miracle on the Hudson has to be director Clint Eastwood.
If there is someone who has the ability to put together a masterpiece in a tight one hour and 30 minutes show, it is Eastwood.
Sully is not a complex movie. It’s straightforward. But the way Eastwood delves into the incident and the tension that follows is captivating.
Sully is a movie about a man who does an extraordinary job but wants to remain ordinary in the eyes of his fans.
Captain Sullenberger could have taken all credit for that miraculous landing but he modestly shared that with his crew members, passengers and rescuers.
As they say, you can’t keep a good man down, and Sully soars all the way.
On a lighter note, Tom Hanks would be the last person in the planet you’d want to travel with.
Don’t believe me, see his earlier movies Castaway and Captain Phillips and you will understand why.
Safe weekend folks!