Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So…I spent the better part of the last week or so trying to watch Passengers. Redbox never had it. Hasting’s was always out. Frustration set in. I hadn’t ever even heard of the movie until I saw it out on DVD at Walmart. It looked like a good little thriller, and since I like Anne Hathaway, I figured that I couldn’t go wrong. In short, I really I wanted to see it. Usually…I like it when I get what I want. Sigh. Finally…in what will be known from now on as “The Memorial Day Miracle,” I found a copy for rent while shopping yesterday. Phew!

The movie centers around Claire, played by the afore-mentioned Anne Hathaway, a psychologist who helps people deal with emotional trauma in their lives. She is called in, in the middle of the night, to meet with survivors of a plane crash, and is told by a colleague that she will be the one to work with all of them. Though she is slightly overwhelmed at the prospect, Claire sets up a time to meet with the survivors in a group meeting. Only one man refuses to join the group: a seemingly jubilant survivor named Eric. Eric does, however, agree to meet with Claire on a one-on-one, house call, basis. Though reluctant, Claire agrees, and for reasons I don’t really know…I found myself totally creeped out by Eric.

While Eric claims, to Claire, that everything is fine, we see that he is having nightmares, and is frustrated when he’s on his own. From their first official meeting, Claire is both uncomfortable with, and intrigued by, Eric, who repeatedly pushes their relationship closer and closer to its boundaries. What begins as an honest desire to help Eric deal with the trauma of the accident turns into several unnerving attempts to figure him out. Eric seems to know things about Claire that she’s never divulged, and she becomes more and more determined to find out why.

Eric’s memory of the crash differs with accounts Claire has heard from members of the group, whose memories differ from one another, as well. When a strange man is seen lurking outside a window during a group session, and one member of the group confides in Claire that the man has been following him. Though he has no proof, the man is certain that the airline is following him.

The official story of the crash, given by the airline, is that the accident was due to human error, as the pilot was tired and miscalculated his landing. When memories of an explosion begin to surface with some of the crash survivors, however, Claire begins to wonder if the crash was due, instead, to mechanical error. The airline has dealt with mechanical errors before, and reportedly could not deal with it again. When members of the group, who have reported hearing or seeing the explosion, begin to disappear, Claire becomes certain that she is dealing with a cover-up. Desperate to uncover the truth, and to protect her patients, Claire begins to investigate the crash in detail. The closer she comes to finding the truth, it seems, the more dangerous her pursuit becomes.

While not an all out “scary” movie, Passengers has plenty of unsettling moments and characters. I won’t say any more, so that you can experience the film on your own. The ending was not something that I’d anticipated, regardless of the fact that I had voiced every other feasible explanation I could imagine. While it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I did like Passengers, and was glad to finally get to watch it.