Up in the air

I saw ‘Up in the Air’ today. And I must say it was an interesting watch. But really how do we judge something that took so long to make and lasted 108 minutes. How can anyone, no matter how many movies they’ve thrashed or applauded, say a movie is good or bad. Hence the
adjective interesting; ‘cuz that could mean its good or bad or anything in between really. But I must say that in this case the scale tips towards good.

What an interesting career at first glance. Firing people. But it also is extremely difficult. To handle that moment when you take away almost everything they’ve known for so long. What they believe is what keeps them up and running and their families fed and safe.

And wow, what a life it is. Ryan Bingham had to actually come home for 42 days. Imagine that, travelling for most days of the year, and living out of your suitcase, nothing to keep you grounded or pull you down. But is it really that wonderful to be up in the air, to save for the sake of saving, just so you get 10 million miles and its perks of meeting the Captain and getting your name on the plane. Ten million miles, whole families don’t hold a candle to that in entire lifetimes.

But after all that, he ends up being a parenthesis. The Romantic in me says, OH NO, how can this not have a happy ending and the other pragmatic and cynical half of me says Well, what else did he expect.

Commitment phobia is captured wonderfully. To live life without an anchor, to keep floating up in the air. And when he’s asked to settle down in Omaha after newbie hotshot Natalie finds a way to fire clients over the internet, you’re left wondering what the hell will he do now. And atleast he does finally learn the importance of family, though surprisingly, not from where he expected it.


What I really liked about this movie is that it was relate-able. And that too, I could relate to both the emotions Clooney felt. And the other reason is of course yummy man, George Clooney. Like vintage wine, he just gets better. I thought he was absolutely dishy, coming up the escalator in the first installment of Oceans. But in Up in the Air, he looks more delicious and pitches an awesome performance.

There is a vulnerability to him and ofcourse there is an annoying cockiness and self assurance which makes you want to slap him. When he has to convince his sister’s fiancé to get committed, you end up rolling your eyes ‘cuz you know he’s the last person on Earth who should do it.. Even when he does get his dream come true and crosses his 10 million mark, he doesn’t remember what he wants to say.

Director Jason Reitman said,

‘”If you’re going to make a movie about a guy who fires people for a living and you still want to like him, that actor better be damn charming and I don’t think there’s a more charming actor alive than George Clooney. I was very lucky he said yes.”

I definitely and completely agree.

Vera-FarmigaThe remaining cast, primarily Vera Farmiga as Alex and Anna Kedrick as Natalie are quite impressive. As much as I loved Farmiga’s glorious gorgeous butt, I’m not sure if she really did deserve the Oscar nod. Not to take away anything from her, but the part I doubt was written
with a expectation of the Golden statuettes. Also watch out for the interesting cameos by JK Simmons, Zach Galifianakis and Sam Elliot.

It shows that firing someone is bloody tough but has to be done. But how does one really give bad news, it makes you wonder if there is any way that can make it any better, any easier. At the same time, losing that job probably ill be the best thing that’s happened to them or the worst. Most people get through while others like the one who caused Natalie to quit see no way out.

Towards the end of it, you realize the worry reason they were afraid to lose their job becomes their motivation to plough ahead. Ultimately it is about that support, about having someone to fall back on who will push you right back up.

The new media is sometimes such a joke isn’t it. Breaking up over text message. Getting fired over the internet. Everything seems to be losing its human touch. I wonder how much longer this will go. Will our children really know so less warmth and humanity? Worrying thought, Really, Don’t you think?

Makes you wonder actually, about priorities. What’s important, 100 million miles? Or someone being there for you. Does commitment really have to be that tough. Well, though the sister’s fiancé’s argument on why he shouldn’t get married does make sense, Clooney’s counterpoint
‘If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life… were you alone? Life’s better with company’ does indeed make more sense. Commitment doesn’t necessarily have to be scary, but it is. Sometimes, it ties you down; sometimes it’s about money, sometimes its bout still being lonely no matter what. But not necessarily. Somewhere along the way, I do believe ‘Up in the Air’ leaves the audience with that hope. Hope that maybe things are not that bad after all.

This movie is about a lot of things, commitment phobia, the end of the road, obsession and a few other philosophies. But everything packaged wonderfully enough to follow without a hitch. It’s a perfect mix of romance and drama, of laughter and tears. It has a little bit of everything and the movie breezes through.

All in all, definitely worth a watch. Watch it from the music.. Watch it for the restrained yet wonderful acting by Clooney. Watch it to learn your priorities. And don’t forget to see what’s in our back pack.