Feel good cinema: get real!Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Lewis Alsamari, Christian Clemenson, Trish Gates
If Crash was the one movie that celebrated the triumph of the human spirit in every person, be it good or bad, last year, Paul Greengrass does the opposite and with conviction in his United 93. This is the first Hollywood film to dwell upon the 9/11 blasts releasing just ahead of Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center.
Why Greengrass excels is because nor has he chosen the high profile case of the WTC crash, nor does he have a set of high profile actors. The story of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field, is told five years after the incident based on facts from the 9/11 Commission Report.
The ensemble cast does a good job playing their characters to the t. The story begins with the four terrorists’ incantations to Allah and ends with one of them again praying to Allah before they crash land. In between lies the crux of the story, where it takes us into air-traffic control centers in New York, Boston and Cleveland, and into the confused hullabaloo of the Northeast Air Defense, as military commanders struggle with late information. We see in almost real time the sluggish communications and impeccable inefficacy of a system that failed to prevent one of the biggest tragedies. The film ends with the text messages remind the already-disturbed audience of what happened that day.
The film in itself is very symbolic of the action it wishes to convey. The script has very few dialogues initially, but as the difference hijackings and crashes take place, it gains momentum and the dialogues increase. The climax is a brilliant mix of sound effects as well as verbal diarhhoea. This is one must-keep screenplay for any young writer. What could have been avoided? The excessive stress on the Islamic incantations by the terrorists, which gets dramatically over-played at places. The violence: which at times gets a little disturbing.