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Flight Essay

1147 words - 5 pages

5GrandezMLAWalter GrandezFlightHave you ever been dependent on a substance that your very own life depended on it? Have you treated that substance as if it were an elixir or totem of some mystic deity? Captain Whip Whittaker has. The drama-thriller movie Flight (Robert Zemeckis, 2012), starring Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot suffering from alcohol dependence, offers a wide range of materials to consider-the powerful portrayal of drug dependency, realistic consequences of a high functioning alcoholic, deviant behavior, and the hardship for recovery.Before I go over the film, I must clarify some important terms that are commonly misinterpreted in a drug-addicted individual. As Carl L. Hart and Charles Ksir recognizes in Drugs, Society & Human Behavior, the term addiction is a difficult and controversial term that usually has different meaning for different people. Since this term is widely used in everyday conversation, it is hard for us to try to give it precise scientific definition. The more precise term used is dependence. Drug dependence indicates the state in which the individual uses the drug so frequent and consistently that it appears that it would difficult for that individual to get along without using the drug (5). Point in fact; although it is good to acknowledge the term addiction, it would be better to steer away from it and use the term dependence.Now, moving on into the opening scene of the movie, I got an early glimpse of the life of Whip Whitaker. The scene starts off with the camera zoomed in on a cup of dark spirits with the alarm clock going off at 7:14 am. As the camera pans out, a naked woman arises from the hotel room bed where a hung over Whip Whitaker wakes up to answer a phone call while drinking the remains of last's night beer bottle. The naked woman passes him a joint. Whitaker takes a hit from the joint but continues to feel his hangover effects. He then mumbles, "I feel a little light headed. I should have eaten something.". Next, a groggy hung over Whitaker snorts a python-size line of cocaine and begins to feel all right. Cueing in the song "Feelin' Alright" by musician Joe Crocker, the scene proceeds as a wide-awake and dapper looking Whit Whitaker, in aviator sunglasses and pilot uniform, struts down a hotel corridor wheeling his travel bags behind him, ready to start his workday.After his night of sex, drugs, and alcohol, Whip takes control of a commercial jetliner but what happens next is far from his routine. A mechanical failure on the plane results in a horrifying free fall causing Whip to heroically and skillfully averts a violent crash. However, the National Transportation Safety Board are less concerned with Whip's heroic act than with his drug dependency. Consumed by a mix of self-loathing and self-delusion, the rest of the movie Whip falls deeper and deeper down his drug rabbit hole.Overall, there are several themes this film accurately captures. A key theme taking a part from...

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