Coming to Amazon’s own channel Amazon Prime this Friday from writer/director Patrick Vollrath is a dilemma that one man must face when calling 7500.
Captain Lutzmann (Carlo Kitzlinger) and co-pilot Tobias Ellis (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are flying an Airbus A319 from Berlin to Paris. Sharing the ride is stewardess Gokce (Aylin Tezel) who is mother of Ellis’ young son. Keeping work and home life separate, a very few know they are a couple. The take off goes smoothly and they are quickly in the air.
Within minutes of the flight, a disturbance happens outside as terrorist Kalkan (Passar Hariky), Kenan (Murathan Muslu) and young Vedat (Omid Memar) attempt to gain entry to the cockpit. The pilot is wounded as Ellis manages to keep two out and knowing out the third. Trying to help the pilot, it becomes clear that Ellis is going to have to fly the plane.
Kalkan and Vedat continue to pound on the door making it clear they are going to do whatever it takes to gain entry. Kalkan goes as far as to threaten the lives of passenger’s if the door isn’t opened. Vedat translates to Ellis but one thing is clear – Ellis can not open the door.
Knowing that it is Kalkan who is in control, Ellis tries reason, but it only agitates the situation. Now Ellis must rely on his composure when everything seems out of control and do everything possible until they are able to land. Each moment brings the flight closer to being able to land – but will it?
Gordon-Levitt as Ellis brings a powerful performance to a frightening story. Making plans for his young son’s education seemed to be the only care he had. When the hijacking starts, Gordon-Levitt is uber-focused, and it shows every frame of the film. The power in each thing that happens is intense, yet this actor adds a drop more for good measure until you realize you have blinked in a while. Excellent performance with an topic that is difficult to address.
Hariky as Kalkan is determined and nothing or no one will get in the way of his ultimate goal. Even when it seems everything is falling apart, Hariky’s character stares into the camera outside the cockpit with a glare that exudes fear and says, “try me!”.
Memar as Vedat is a young man that is absolutely troubled by what is happening but also feels a sense of hopelessness when he realizes this is not what he expected. Wanting to do what’s right as a person and what he’s been told is right as a hijacker, I think Vedat becomes more and more dangerous because of the fear he feels. There is a moment when the phone rings and Vedat falls apart that is nothing short of heartbreaking.
Other cast include: Hicham Sebiai as Hopper, Paul Wollin as Daniel, Cornel Nussbaum as Peter, Max Schimmelpfennig as the student and Nathalie (Aurelie Thepaut).
Amazon Prime offers television shows and original content included in its Amazon Prime subscription. Original programs such as CARNIVAL ROW, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, and THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL are hit shows. Coming soon is the next series with GOLIATH starring Billy Bob Thornton and it promises to another successful and intense series.
7500 brings every bead of intensity and it is palpable from start to finish. It twists, turns and does not go the way that is expected but, then again, that would make for a movie of the week instead of a well-done film by Amazon Studios.
Shot in real time and an amazing set that feels and looks like the cockpit of an airplane only lends believability to the story. Even the sounds of the aircraft and the lights lend itself to a character that the story is trying to tell.
What starts as a five man show whittles its way down to a one on one and who can keep it together until the situation is resolved. That is when the minutes drag by so slowly and it is Gordon-Levitt as Ellis who the viewer counts on to do what is right and make the hard choices– no matter the cost. When they refer to the people as “souls on board”, this films situation brings that more into focus.
Watch on a big screen, watch with the lights down and watch performances that will stay with you long after the story ends.
In the end – the distress code is only the beginning!