Review: Up in the Air

2009’s Best Urban Film

Up in the Air (R)

Director: Jason Reitman

Cast: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick and Jason Bateman

Genre: Comedy-Drama

Rating: *****

And finally, I have watched one of the best films of 2009. An urban film, much corporate and passive, Up in the Air lives up to its expectations. The film is based on the novel by Walter Kim and it is the screenplay that makes magic in progress. The film stars George Clooney who plays yet another charming performance. Vera Farmiga’s role of a frequent flyer packs a punch, especially in those conversations where they reveal their mischief aboard the aircraft. Gone are the days where the lead pair met and bonded in an orchid or a lake. Here we are, meeting in the Frequent Flyers Club.

So, Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizer who spends his time in the airport and on airplanes, flying to different cities and firing people. Isn’t that too ironic! His boss, Craig Gregory finds the internet video call idea of his trainee, Natalie Keener to be interesting as it would put his men “off the road” and he can save a lot of greens. But, Ryan disapproves the idea and also lets Craig to witness Natalie’s lacklustre efforts. Hence, Craig sends Natalie along with Ryan to learn first-hand. Amidst this clutter is the frequent appearance of Alex Goran, the woman with whom Ryan plays it casual. The characterization of the two women can be compared to Yin and Yang. Natalie is young and inexperienced, Alex is aging and highly experienced. Natalie likes to make arguments loud, Alex plays it silent. So, how does Ryan juggle between Yin and Yang? Watch Up in the Air.

The film has got me into its creative holds. The slick editing, the stylish camera angles, the sensuous sounds, all of them are a big plus. If The International was a recession-era thriller and Public Enemies, a Great Depression-era story, Up in the Air proves to be a light-hearted recession-era drama.

Indie actress, Anna Kendrick makes her much wanted breakthrough as the young  downsizer. Craig Gregory, the boss is quintessentially portrayed by Jason Bateman who with his charming looks makes the role look easy. But, Clooney offers the real punch with his surprisingly tireless appearance and monotonous voice. After Thank You For Smoking and Juno, Jason Reitman has directed another marvel.

Up in the Air is a delight to watch. Those 110 minutes would be worth your money and you’d want to watch it again. The film is routed win the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay.


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