Amazon Studio’s latest original movie ‘7500’ is a refreshing revisit of the usual airplane hijack stories. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the co-pilot on a flight from Berlin to Paris when it is attacked by terrorists on board. More than the plot, it is the execution by first-time director Patrick Vollrath who manages to instill enough thrill and horror.
The title of the film refers to the emergency squawk code 7500 which pilots use to pass messages to the air traffic control that they are hijacked. So, from the very beginning, we at least know what is to expect in the story. However, it is not exactly predictable whether this will be all action or some commentary, as it also deals with a few subtle points in terms of an ethical dilemma and human values.
‘7500’ – Is the flight going to successfully land?”
At the start of the movie, we see one of the popular quotes of M.K. Gandhi: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” So, we kind of wonder about whether this is only for the terrorists who are ready to kill, driven by their vague ideology, or the system in general.
‘7500’ follows Gordon-Levitt’s American pilot Tobias Ellis who is co-piloting the flight with his German captain as they find themselves in a life-threatening situation when a group of terrorists tries to violently enter the cockpit, threatening to kill passengers onboard. Tobias must quickly act, not only to save most of the passengers and crew on board but also to save himself from the onslaught of two of the terrorists.
‘7500’ – Streaming now on Amazon Prime Video
Most of us have already watched such plane hijack movies (cliché as it sounds), however, one thing that stands out in ‘7500’ is its minimalistic approach and realistic performance from Gordon-Levitt (The Walk) and Carlo Kitzlinger as the plane’s captain, Michael.
Besides, the film is almost shot in a single setting i.e. the cockpit and with a security camera that captures limited things happening in the cabin, further heightens suspense and horror, as we see the despair in the pilot to take instantaneous decisions in an attempt to save many lives.
Patrick Vollrath’s focus on characters – this is where ‘7500’ shines
While there are not many players on screen, the characterizations are good enough to pull this off. The soft-spoken and emotional American pilot role played by Gordon-Levitt, who had a very critical decision to make by refusing to the demands of terrorists, is intriguing to watch.
In such an unbelievable and shocking situation, the elements of shock and confusion are there, yet in Tobias, we see human strength and resolution. Of course, the ethical question will be there, as he preferred focusing on landing the plane as per the protocol than opening the cockpit door and giving control to the hijackers.
Besides, the character of an 18-year-old hijacker Vedat (Omid Memar) also brings a sympathetic tone to the story in the middle of all fanaticism. He is young, misguided, and hence Tobias showed his human side for the attacker even in a terrible situation. Above all, ‘7500’ is a nice watch for performance and direction.
Director: Patrick Vollrath
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar, Carlo Kitzlinger, Aylin Tezel, Murathan Muslu, Paul Wollin, Aurélie Thépaut, Passar Hariky, Denis Schmidt, Max Schimmelpfennig, Anna Suk.
Genres: Drama, Thriller
Cinematography: Sebastian Thaler
Release Date: August 9, 2019 (Locarno); June 18, 2020 (United States)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
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