Thursday, November 10, 2005

Flight plan: Cliché Images and Scenario, Conservative Ideas, Hollywood at its Usual Self

There are some movies that are better seen on dvd with friends and pizza. Their great advantage is that even if you miss something while you are talking with your friends or eating your pizza it doesn’t matter because you still get the picture of what is happening.
Flight plan is one of those films. To be honest with you I went to see it because I had the right of free entrance. Then I though that since Jodie Foster is in the leading role it couldn’t be too bad. Well it wasn’t bad it was just the absolute mediocre Hollywood- adventure film where you get exactly what you were expecting. Good even though not exceptional acting, sufferable script, good but not surprising directing and perfect photography and lighting but completely without any personality. The film actually reminds of something else you have seen in the past. In this case it is more or less the same scenario with the Panic Room. The similarities between the two films are painfully obvious. Jodie Foster in both films playing a single determined and quite tough mother who is struggling to protect her daughter. Close spaces and tight rooms to enhance the supposed feeling of anxiety of the spectator. A twist in the script to keep us interested in the second half of the film. Well actually the twist here is very predictable. And of course the heroic end where the good ones prevail through their own inventiveness and personal strangle. Jodie Foster rises form the debris and the smoke carrying her child (isn’t that image a cliché?). To make the things even worse the director just had to satisfy completely our expectation. The film could very easily finish in the scene I described above but according to Hollywood producers the spectator must also witness the moral justification of the mother. The passengers of the plain that had mistreated Jodie Foster have to come to admire and respect her. So, the last scene is dedicated to the moral satisfaction. The pilot comes to offer his apologies, the Arabian passenger who hit her carries her suitcase and all the passengers that applauded her capture now stair at her with admiration. It is so corny!
Just in case that someone now starts claiming that this kind of action films were the protagonist is a woman bear feministic values that are new to Hollywood cinema let me get some things straight. It is true that in the recent years adventures with female protagonists have popped in the Hollywood tradition. The series of Alien, Panic Room- as I said before- Lara Croft come into my mind. In reality, though, those films are not always so feministic. Lara Croft has remained the absolute sex symbol form the game to the film. Sigourney Weaver in the Alien series some times is not even a proper woman (Alien 3 and Alien the Resurrection) and when she combines action to womanhood it is only for the protection of a child. In other words a woman can only be dynamic, clever and hard only when she is a mother. In this line of tradition are situated Panic Room and Fight Plan. What annoys me more than the Hollywood image-cliché are the conservative ideas that these cliché promote. The world moves on but Hollywood is still stuck in the 50’s. Now what that means for us spectators who choose and pay to see films that promote ideas of the 50’s? I really wonder.

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