MovieChat Forums > Flightplan (2005) Discussion > People are missing the point of the film...

People are missing the point of the film... 'bystander apathy'


I think people missed the point of the film. I loved the film. 9/10. I thought it was one of the best thrillers of that year. The complaints of the film is just ridiculous.

You guys say that "Nobody saw her! That's impossible! At least one person should've seen her get kidnapped!" NEWS FLASH: Nobody did. Even if it could be 1 in 100000000000 chance of her not being seen, it did happen. You just have to accept what happens in movies. I still question myself on why people liked The Game when it's just as ridiculous as Flightplan. It's mind boggling.

And perhaps you can even make a whole social commentary on it. Do people really care if a child has gone missing? If you looked through the film, you would see the adults just did not care that a kid is missing at all. "Maybe they should put on a bell around kids' necks..." or something like that. It's true. In real life, I sure would not as hell cared if a child or a dog is missing unless it's my own. That's human nature for you. I'm sure many people would not care either.

You see those social experiments, one in which a homeless guy faints on the floor. But in the streets of Chicago, people continue to walk passed by, not worrying if he's going to die nor calling the ambulance for him. You see the news where some innocent lives died because people just don't not care. In the hospital, a woman asking for help faints on the floor but the doctors just walk past by until like 30 minutes later, when somebody finally checks on her, she's already dead.

You might even make another social commentary that people are just too busy with their own lives to see what's going on around them. There's one scene in which the family in front of Foster's character are just arguing so loudly. They aren't even aware of what's going on around them. Is that not a legitimate argument for people not seeing the child getting kidnapped? Also, some of the passengers were bored, sleepy, etc. Aren't those also legitimate excuses? If not, then I've got nothing else to say.

But I'll just say this: The film was fantastic. It still is. The plot is "air tight," like Roger Ebert said. Who cares if nobody seen the child being taken? That's not the point of the film. You guys have to realize that things aren't as ridiculous as they may appear because what happened in this film may very well be a real life situation. It's sad that it doesn't get the appreciation and praise it deserves.

UPDATE #1: Ha! I found it! It's called bystander apathy. You can read more about it here: http://www.uncommon-knowledge.co.uk/articles/bystander-apathy.html

Bystander apathy is when witnesses of a problematic event do nothing when they could or should.

Here are some eye popping videos I mentioned earlier in my post:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRdtKfvUu0w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwN_Jejh1jU&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIvGIwLcIuw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSsPfbup0ac&feature=related

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Do people really care if a child has gone missing?

How many times have you seen national news about a missing child? Plenty. What about national news featuring a missing adult? Not very often, unless the adult is a celebrity of some kind.

I bet if a child was lying on the ground in Chicago or in a hospital, there would be a crowd around them in seconds offering help.

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The news would show a picture, sure, but my point is if people are actually going to search through crowds to find that missing child. Probably not.

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[deleted]

The hijackers' plans relied on no-one seeing the child on board, relied on nobody seeing her when the mother and daughter changed their seats, relied on Jodie Foster's character falling heavily asleep, relied on mum and daughter falling asleep on separate empty banks of seats, relied on the little girl falling asleep and not waking up when strangers picked her up. (Unless I missed it, there was no suggestion that the hijackers had drugged them to make them sleep, which was all that was needed to make this plot strand reasonable. The little girl seemed to have been drugged later. However, even if I did miss it, the other coincidences the bad guys relied on were pretty extreme.)
They relied on it and the situation obviously went their way. Sometimes people watch movies for entertainment. Like I said, it may be 99% that the plan would have failed but this movie is about that 1%. I'm sure there are ways to support what happened in the movie.

It also relied on people on the plane having a couldn't care less attitude about a missing child, which is highly unlikely.
They didn't care because they all thought she was crazy. That was the whole point. They were thinking, "Is this goddamn lady crazy?! The child isn't even listed on this flight!"

Later, when the people were told that the little girl was already dead and that the mum was having some kind of breakdown, they would obviousy accept it and their attitide would change, but they seemed to start off with a 'So what? Who cares?' attitude that was extremely improbable.
This is because she almost ruined their entire flight by switching powers and turning lights on and off and making terrorist threats.

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[deleted]

They relied on it and the situation obviously went their way. Sometimes people watch movies for entertainment. Like I said, it may be 99% that the plan would have failed but this movie is about that 1%. I'm sure there are ways to support what happened in the movie.

Of course it went that way, it was written that way! It doesn't make it any more plausible. What if, instead of pushing the guy off the building, they relied on him being struck by lightning? They could have written the movie so that it would have worked out for him. It doesn't make the plan any less stupid.

They didn't care because they all thought she was crazy. That was the whole point. They were thinking, "Is this goddamn lady crazy?! The child isn't even listed on this flight!"

The question is why, on a plane full of people, isn't ANYONE at all of a dissenting opinion? Then again, if they relied on EVERYONE neglecting to notice a child (I know I damn well notice kids when they're seated near me...it allows me to brace myself for the inevitable annoyances that come with children on an aircraft), they might as well rely on EVERYONE siding against the woman.

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Not everyone was against her. Some passengers was with her.

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Personally, I wouldn't care if a crazy lady was running around the plane looking for her dead daughter. You are perhaps one of those who would go to her and tell some "nice stuff" and go away, feeling you had done something good.

She was drugged, and they didn't show it because it would have made it clear that there WAS a villain and that Jodie wasn't a crazy mom.

After they were told that her daughter was dead, I think everyone was civil if not kind. There seemed nothing "improbable" in anyone's behavior after the "revelation".

Some people here seem to look for plot holes harder than necessary. I'm not a fool and I didn't have to become one to enjoy the movie.

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The issue wasn't that no one noticed her missing, that may happen. The issue is that plan relied on that happening

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[deleted]

No, it's not human nature and I find it quite disturbing that you would not care if a child was missing. Thankfully, however, that is not a common attitude.
I just listed reasons in real life in which I got my conclusion. There are some people who think human, in nature, are evil. Others think that humans are naturally good, but will we ever know? I don't know.

After they had been told that Jodie Foster's character was having some kind of breakdown, their attitude would change, as they would have no reason not to believe it, but the general attitude, even then, would be one of sympathy.
I think the villains thought that any mother would not act calmly in her situation, where people don't believe her child is missing.

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I agree with the points made here, and i liked the film quite alot. However, for me, there was one really annoying moment in the film. It was at the end, when Jodie was walking through the airport with her kid, and someone says 'she never gave up' in a really lame way. That was the only silly bit.

I'm making a random point, but did anyone else notice that?

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[deleted]

" Sometimes people watch movies for entertainment."

It's this exact mindset that allows Hollywood to produce "My Mother the Car".
Do you completely turn your brain off when the movie begins?
How low do you allow your standards to drop?
What a terrible movie

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"Sometimes people watch movies for entertainment."

It's this exact mindset that allows Hollywood to produce "My Mother the Car".
Do you completely turn your brain off when the movie begins?
How low do you allow your standards to drop?
What a terrible movie


+1





"You want to investigate my courage? Do you? Find out! Find out!" (Robert Ford)

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the end (OH she was RIGHT?) was very stilted. In fact if you are going to go there she should have apologized to the arab guys. Once those guys were introduced you could instantly scratch them from the list of suspects. Because movies are made in Hollywood and their mission in life is to correct the concerns of normal people...right after they make fabulous bank off of them.
A 5 ...inspite of good acting. The plot and motivations were wheezing on the way to the conclusion.

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[deleted]

"No, it's not human nature and I find it quite disturbing that you would not care if a child was missing. Thankfully, however, that is not a common attitude."
well your wrong. Thats EXACTLY the common attitude. people only care about themself, anything else goes to second place.how many children get missing every day? should we all run and search for them everywhere now?

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In this universe, there's only one absolute... everything freezes!

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OP you lose all credibility when you suggest people don't lose their damn minds when a kid goes missing. It is always a big deal. CNN Headline News is 85% missing children reports. Spending literally millions per kid isn't trivial.

Also, here's what you need to learn about bums, because you obviously haven't a clue; bums like to sleep in your way. I know that sounds stupid. But it's true. Bums sleep on sidewalks, and in door ways. Usually bums enjoy drugs and alcohol, so oftentimes a bum isn't necessarily "sleeping".

Seeing a bum lying motionless on the sidewalk isn't even remotely related to seeing someone have a seizure, or fall unconscious mid stride.

You have no idea how ridiculous it sounds to suggest every person on the street should be rolling bums around or calling an ambulance every time they step over a bum. Laying on the ground motionless is a bum's natural position. They only move in order to find the materials necessary to get back into that position, be it food, booze, drugs, newspaper.

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OP you lose all credibility when you suggest people don't lose their damn minds when a kid goes missing. It is always a big deal. CNN Headline News is 85% missing children reports. Spending literally millions per kid isn't trivial.
I don't watch CNN but do they really show missing kids? That's news to me. However, like I said before, do people actually spend their times searching for those kids? I'm sure people would go on with their lives.

Seeing a bum lying motionless on the sidewalk isn't even remotely related to seeing someone have a seizure, or fall unconscious mid stride.
I provided many other real-world situations, even the girl in the hospital who fell down to the floor. It took like an hour before someone even bothered to wake her up but she was already dead.

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It's fascinating to watch this back-and-forth. . .one believes people care, the other doesn't. Who's right?

I wish it were the guy who believes. I really do.

I used to side w/the "people are basically good" crowd. Till this thread, didn't realize how cynical I've become. Hmm. Actually, is it cynicism or awareness? Is there a difference?

In any case. I can COMPLETELY see a planeful of average citizens reacting with COMPLETE apathy to this very scenario. I've seen similar situations way too often. Lived in a few Large Cities, and one small town. People are people everywhere, so that's not it.

Sigh.

Yes, SOME people lose their damn minds when a kid goes missing. I'd venture to guess (I know it's only an educated guess) that by FAR, most people register it dully, then just keep it movin'. And the ones you see MILLIONS spent on are a VANISHINGLY SMALL fraction. Most you will never ever ever even hear about.

Ok, I'm depressing *myself* now! Enough.

"Personally I hope they make all the gods black and change it from Valhalla to Valholla!"

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I dont believe that walking past a person lying on the ground, injured, makes that person a 'bad' person. we all just get on with our lives, we arnt heroes or live savers, we try our best to do right by our friends and family. if i saw a man on the street after being beaten up, would i go over to him? hell no, what if the attackers come back? what if he wakes up and is drunk and disordaly? No, I would call an ambulance and get on with my life.

As for this film, why should anyone care? Kyle lost her daughter on a plane, everyone would just assume that she had gone off to play with some other children or fallen asleep in some out of sight hole, nothing to be concerned about or to get worked up about.

I've got a... dwarf, and I'm not afraid to use him!

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WIZGUY....That sentence dynamited your entire theory. You need to get out more.

July 19,2009
AP
MILWAUKEE — Two brothers who are Milwaukee firefighters were off-duty when their wives called them to the scene of a burning SUV that had a woman and her two young children trapped inside.

Joel and John Rechlitz were among the crowd who worked to rescue the family Sunday afternoon.

"Once you see a burning child, I mean, it doesn't matter who you are, firefighter or not," Joel Reichlitz told The Associated Press on Monday. "You are going to do whatever you can to save that child," Joel Rechlitz said.

The 32-year-old woman from Tennessee was driving the SUV when it hit a tree and burst into flames, police said. Videotape of the rescue shows a group surrounding the flipped, burning vehicle. Two men used pipes to break the windshield.
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Just one such story. I'd bet 1000. dollars that such things happen Every week in this country if not everyday.

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WIZGUY....That sentence dynamited your entire theory. You need to get out more.
Like I said, I provided many situations that happened in the world where people didn't seem to care. There are people who sees bad things happening but don't say something about it. It's like one of those quotes: "There are two types of bad people in the world: Those who do bad things and those who see bad things happen but don't do anything about it."

I'm sure there are many movies that show this.

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The defenders of this flick have spent 10 times more energy than the creators did in designing this utter wreck of a movie.

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You are sooooo funny.

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The point of the film is that Sean Bean is sooooo hot.
That's the reason I've watched it, that's the reason I don't regret watching it.

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"I just dont know why people hate on this movie so much."

Probably the same reason people hate on My Favorite Martian & Leonard Part 6.

Because they are terrible movies that the creators slept walked through.

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