United 93

I went to see it today. An emotional rollercoaster, and well worth seeing.

But I found Flight 93 to be a better film overall. There are two chief differences between the two films.

First, Flight 93 shows the people at the other end of the phone. We get to see a wife’s or mother’s reaction to their loved ones calling them. There are protracted heart wrenching conversations between families, during the course of the hijacking. This makes Flight 93 a far more emotional experience. Much of the film is devoted to these phone calls.

Second, Flight 93 showed very little military reaction. The film instead centered on the passengers and the hijackers. No scenes of the planes hitting the WTC, only word coming through on the phones. The early parts of United are almost entirely devoted to air traffic control and NORAD reactions.

Two different approaches to tell the same overall story, I found Flight 93 to be the better of the two.

2 Responses to “United 93”

  1. I saw United 93 on Saturday. I have to say it was a truly excellent film that, for me, got the balance entirely right. I think it gave us a very good idea of the confusion and chaos surrounding the whole series of events and the absolute terror from within the flight itself.

    The ending to the film is truly shocking and for many will be quite upsetting and unnerving. I got a 3 hour flight myself the next day (returning last night) and thankfully did not experience any anxiety as a result of the film. I was wondering, though, why one of the passengers had disappeared for so long when all of the toilets were empty. A picture of the guy putting a bomb together did enter my head I have to say. That’s just one of the legacies of Sept 11th 2001 and will always be with us when we fly.

  2. Very interesting…i didn’t see Flight but did see United and I think United 93 told a wonderful story that did not try to illicit my emotions but instead create a picture…

    I guess it was more a painting to me than a story and I liked that and appreciated it.

    –RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com