Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comparing Amelia to Obama

Patrick Mulligan, one of our regular readers, offers this comment on my review of Amelia:

Personally, I'd rather see a film about somebody who actually accomplished what they set out to do instead of died trying. The entire concept for such a movie seems like a monumental shrine to failure. In the age of Obama, the release is certainly well-timed. Maybe they'll give the film an Academy Award for all the potential that it had.

Where do I begin?

If Patrick would rather not see a film about somebody who died trying then I suppose The Ten Commandments isn't amongst his DVD collection.

Patrick labels Amelia a failure for not completing the around the world flight. He dismisses her as a figure unworthy of our attention describing the biopic as "a monumental shrine to failure." Let's keep in mind that no one had attempted to circumnavigate the globe - man or woman. Prior to leaving Lae, New Guinea, Amelia and Fred Noonan had traveled 22,000 miles. They had traversed three fourths of the globe and were on the last leg of their flight to Honolulu. Earhart and Noonan needed only to stop at Howland Island to refuel. Something went horribly wrong. They disappeared and haven't been found to this day.

Let us also remember that Amelia crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on solo flights not to mention that she piloted transcontinental solo flights. She also set various speed and altitude records. Amelia was also amongst the first people who believed commercial airflight could be viable and put her money where her mouth was by investing her money in what would eventually become Northeastern Airlines. Amelia was no failure by any measure. She lived an extraordinary life especially in the time in which she lived it.

Except for the final scene, the movie utterly fails to capture her story - both triumphs and disasters - in any meaningful way.

While I would advise Patrick to skip the movie I would recommend he read Susan Butler's East of the Dawn and Mary S. Lovell's The Sounds of Wings. If he took up my advice, I suspect Patrick wouldn't be so quick to liken Amelia to President Obama.

No comments: