Tuesday, July 10, 2012

HAPPY FLIGHT

Eiga Sai 2012
Shang Cineplex, Cinema 4



As the title conveys, this light comedy is centered on a flight from Tokyo's Haneda airport to Honolulu. It focuses on the work of the flight crew (the pilots and the flights attendants), the ground staff (check in counter staff, air traffic control, the disaster management group) and the maintenance crew that checks each plane to ensure the safety of the passengers. It also features the different types of passengers that the flight crew must serve during the flight. And how they all pull together in the face of a crisis on board.


The movie is fraught with vividly bright scenes complete with soft almost comical music even during the dramatic moments that you never really believe anything serious is going to happen during the flight. On a purely educational level, it offers fascinating insights into what goes on behind the scenes before and during take-off as well as on the actual flight, itself.


The main characters are a novice co-pilot on an assessed flight that will determine whether he gets promoted to the rank of pilot. And a flight attendant on her very first international flight. Complementing them are a bunch of characters who each contribute to make this film a fitting endorsement of ANA, All Nippon Airways, the national carrier of Japan.


Admittedly for a comedy, it isn't laughing out loud funny. The setting is rather limited as it unfolds entirely on a plane along with scenes at the airport terminal. As the plot skips from one happily resolved situation to the next, it starts to resemble not so much a light comedy as an altogether different type of film. It inhabits in an insanely happy universe with zany characters where no problem is so big that can't be overcome in a few minutes of screen time.


I know that flight attendants are trained to put on a happy and brave front but the characters were too simple without any complicated back stories to make them interesting. Nevertheless, "Happy Flight" was amusing enough to watch but much like the inflight movie shown on board, you tend to forget about it once you reach your destination.

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