Directed by Robert Schwentke
Buena Vista Pictures
93 minutes (PG-13 rating for violence, intensity)
Commentary by Kevin Miller
you stick to your beliefs even when circumstances seem to
contradict them and everyone around you thinks you’re
nuts? Aerospace engineer Kyle Pratt faces this test to the
nth degree when her six-year-old daughter apparently
goes missing midway through an overnight flight from Berlin
to New York.
How could such a thing happen, you ask? Perhaps you’ve
never been introduced to the E-474 aircraft, capable of carrying
up to 425 passengers plus crew. In addition to several levels
of comfortable coach seating (your first tip that this is
a fictional plane), a first class section to die for, and
even a glittering bar and lounge, the aircraft contains enough
secret doorways and passages to qualify as a funhouse at your
local theme park.
So, kidnapping a little girl and hiding her in the belly of
such a beast is possible. But why would anyone do it? And
why this particular girl? That’s exactly what the crew
and passengers are asking as Pratt’s anxiety intensifies.
Their skepticism seems entirely justified. Not only is the
girl’s name missing from the passenger manifest, no
one on board can remember seeing her.
the fact that Pratt just lost her husband due to an apparent
suicide (she’s actually accompanying his body back to
New York for burial), and the case for Pratt being nothing
more than a delusional, grieving widow seems all but closed—or
is it? Not as far as Pratt is concerned. Logic and circumstances
aside, she is determined to find her daughter before the plane
lands, leading to an escalation of events that can best be
described as “Panic Room on a plane.”
Pratt’s situation brings to mind the opening lines of
Rudyard Kipling’s classic poem “If”:
you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too…
almost sounds like a backdoor definition of faith, a belief
in something that allows you to transcend circumstances and
influences to the point where you are willing to sacrifice
everything for something you cannot see, hear, taste or feel.
11:1 defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.” Pratt certainly
exemplifies this virtue throughout her ordeal. Few of us ever
have our beliefs tested to the same degree as she does in
this film, but its nice to think we would all hold up as well
@ 2005 Kevin Miller.