Wow. This is a fantastic film but I should not watch it when I’m in such an emotional state. If I wasn’t busying myself with notes, I probably would of cried through the whole thing! I remember this being on TV last September, when I was still in the UK. They were having a kind of ‘9/11’ week where they were showing loads of ‘9/11’ stuff and this was the one movie I really wanted to watch but kept missing it. I watched the World Trade Center and I think that made me cry [though I think I managed to hide it from my mum by going to make a drink or going to the bathroom!!]. I find movies about real-life events fascinating. I know these kind of movies can give a bit of a one-sided view and the events may not of even happened or in that order but it gives us a pretty damn clear view of what could of happened and probably did. Movies are brilliant like this because we get to see what could or did happen.
The start is quiet. We see the Universal and Working Titles logos with no sound at all. I thought that maybe my speakers had buggered up but no, its intentional. We suddenly hear a pray in Arabic and see a man reading the Qur’an. One of the men in the hotel room with the man with the Qur’an says something like “its time”. Now, normally, in a movie that would make the audience go “ooooo, wonder what they’re going to do!” But we know. We know exactly what they’re going to do and its 10x worse that other movies.
The opening credits have a low thud of a drum in the background which made me suddenly feel like I was watching LOST.
As the hijackers prepare themselves in their hotel room, we still hear the man reciting the Qur’an whilst we see shots of them preparing and shots of beautiful New York. The New York that will never be the same again.
Its must be so hard playing terrorists in the movies based on 9/11. I can’t even begin to think of the shit they must go through. Why would they even want to play these roles? Money… their career off the ground…I don’t know, I just know that I couldn’t do it.
The hijackers look like ordinary people except they look a bit suspicious with their shifty eyes. Seriously, no one could get away with looking that suspicious, not even before 9/11. Oh well, I guess its just to get the point across to the idiots who haven’t figured it out that they’re the hijackers. One of the guys is actually kind of good looking which confuses the hell out of me. And the ‘leader’ has a gross uni-brow. Sorry, that’s enough of their appearance!
I thought it was a very good idea to film the whole thing with a handheld camera. It doesn’t look like a home-movie but it sure as hell makes you feel more part of the action and you feel really involved. You don’t really get clear shots of some of the people, there’s normally people’s shoulders or heads in the way or someone walks past the frame. It works brilliantly, makes it feel like I’m kind of watching the news!
The beginning with them all the passengers and crew getting ready for the flight would have been rather boring if we didn’t know what it was leading up to. I just constantly felt myself mentally screaming at the screen for them to turn away and not make the flight!
I didn’t recognize any of the actors or actresses in this movie which I thought was a great idea. It means we can focus on the story rather than who’s in it. I also read on Wikipedia that one of the flight attendants, the two pilots and most of the airline staff were actual airline employees which is another fantastic idea as they use the real ‘language’ that’s used in airports and they work the equipment properly and professionally. However, it does have a bad side to it as there is quite a lot of bad acting from some of the employees, mainly their shock “are you serious?” “Hijack?” its just cringingly bad!!
I thought it was good that the director showed that no one watches or listens to the safety thing before a flight. It makes the audience even more frustrated [in a good way] because we’re like “WHAT THE BLOODY SAFETY STUFF! YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO NEED IT THIS TIME!” It’s a shame that we don’t pay attention to it, I know that I’ve done that too.
Ok, there was one part that really pissed me off; there are countless reports of hijacking yet no one tells the other planes and therefore they take off! Surely, if there is more than one report of a hijacking then you should stop all planes as a precaution! I suppose they just didn’t get to the planes in time. At least they know now.
There is a great shot where we see the ‘leader’ hijacker looking through the window and sees the Two Towers.
I love that the audience knows more than the people on screen. We know that the first tower has been hit by an airplane but they don’t. It gets the audience wound up but in a good way. I know its weird saying that as there isn’t a good way to be wound up but it’s the fact that we know and therefore we’re on the edge of our seats, begging to go into the screen and tell them all what’s happened! It gets the audience so involved as we already know the ending!
When they find out the first tower has been hit, they’re oddly very calm about it. I suppose its because they don’t know or think its one of their planes that caused ‘all that smoke’. Still, there could have been a little more emotion. However, the people in one of the airline watch towers has a perfect view of the twin towers. They hear that a plane is heading straight for New York and they [and the audience] watch the plane fly straight into the second tower. That’s when we get a real response from the people on screen. I’ll admit, I’ve seen a few videos of the planes hitting the towers but I still rose my hand to my mouth in shock. I was so close to crying.
Its horrible seeing and hearing the innocent people on the airplane talking about what they’re going to do when they land, their families and loved ones. It’s a painful reminder that these were innocent people.
I liked how, when the Pentagon was hit, the rooms we’ve seen all the commotion happen in, goes completely quiet. It’s symbolizing that they finally understand what they’re dealing with. That this isn’t some freak occurrence, this is a very well thought out attack. They can’t help but just watch the horror unfold in front of them. Its unfortunate that they were always one step behind the hijackers.
When the hijackers on the 93 plane are doing their hijacking, we see clips of the passengers phoning their loved ones. Its so unbelievably sad. Its some of the best acting I’ve ever seen. I was totally feeling what they were feeling, you get a real connection to these passengers. It makes you think what you would want your last words to be.
I loved that the passengers had no names. No one was singled out. They were a team, they were a group, no longer individuals. It makes you wonder what you would do if you were, heaven forbid, ever in that situation. Would you sit there, accepting your fate or would you try and stop them. What would you do?
The ending finally made me crack and I just burst into tears. We see the struggle, they’re fighting with the hijackers to get control. We see through the windows as the plane gets closer and closer to the ground then it goes black. As soon as it goes black, you know what happened. My heart just stopped and tears started pouring from my eyes. Then we see the words that say that this was the only plane that didn’t hit it’s ‘target’. I started thinking about how brave those people were. I swear, you get so connected to these people because you know its based on something that actually happened. I can’t describe the connection well enough to you but its there.
It’s a brilliant movie. So powerful and heartfelt and an amazing tribute to those who died trying to save others. Don’t watch this if you’re about to go on a plane, if a loved one is about to go on a plane, you’re pregnant or you’re ‘on’ [ladies]. Just don’t.
This is a bit irrelevant to the film but… I’ve read some theories that 9/11 was planned by the government just so they’d have an excuse to go to war. I hope that’s not true. After watching this movie, I so hope its not true. Such a horrible thought.
I remember where I was when I heard about 9/11. School had just finished and mum was picking up me and my brother from school and she told us. I remember her saying that she thought Chris Moyles [a Radio 1 DJ] was playing some horrible, cruel joke when he announced the attack. But it was no joke. That’s all I really remember of that day which I suppose is a good thing. Wouldn’t want those memories.
PS: 15th Jan – Aw crap. Its been 2 days and I’ve only just realised that the I did a typo on the spelling on the movie title *facepalm*