ICFF 2019 Film Review: “Airplane Mode” (2019) ★★★★

© Eliseo Cinema

In the era of digital technology and growing distrust in strangers, we don’t know what may happen to our stolen data from our phone if our device was found by someone else. Some people, of course, may keep the line open hoping its owner may call so that they could return their phone, while some others will either remove all the data and try to sell it or look for compromised data for blackmailing. Whatever the outcome, we should always be careful about how much personal information we carry with us and what will happen if it ends up in the wrong hands.

“Airplane Mode” is one of those films that know how to tackle that subject matter, go around it, and unfold it in such a way that in the end there will no viewer left unpleased. Diego Gardini is a typical rich man who looks at everyone from up above. He is arrogant and frankly, a very unlikable person. When he meets Sabino and Ivano DeSantis, two cleaners in Rome’s airport, he has a brief encounter with them which will get them fired in the end. In fact, he takes a picture of their badges and sends them to their direct supervisor. Happy that he’s ruined the two lives, he forgets his phone in the restroom not knowing that it is going to be the most life-changing moment for him inside out.

Ivano and his wife are happy together. Their Christmas dinner is expected to be full as their hope to have a baby slowly disappears. Sabino has been living with his mother for the last fifty years. Both men, despite wanting the best for their life, still enjoy what they were able to get. But when Diego Gardini threatens to take that little moment of happiness from them, they instead of returning Diego’s phone, begin tweeting all sort of stuff, and by the time he reaches Australia, he will be disliked by virtually every person he meets. The only person though that tries to show compassion and empathy which Diego himself lacks, is a stewardess who slowly begins developing some feelings for him.

In the beginning, despite how funny the entire situation is, Sabino and Ivano take advantage of his cell phone by not only ruining his reputation worldwide but by using his money as well. As their plan turns into an evil one, when they realize that Diego hides bank accounts in Cayman, the two men promise to report him to the government. But when they meet his son Luca, everything changes not only for them but for Diego as well – however, he is yet to find out about it.

“Airplane Mode” is a feel-good and super funny Italian comedy that questions the morality of a choice, what is right and what is wrong, Even though its concept is about a lost phone that was not returned to the lost and found department, there are events occurring much bigger than that, such as the rebirth of each and every character – one from good becomes better, from bad and arrogant human being turns into a decent and well-respected man. And there is even love in the air that will wait for its moment to be caught. Directed by Fausto Brizzi, “Airplane Mode” is what we need to escape from the blunt and uncolorful reality to have a refreshing look at a few people who learn how to redeem themselves in the best way possible.

In short, along the journey, there is a lot we can learn from them, especially one most important lesson – sometimes all that we need is to keep our phones in the airplane mode in order to look around at people we love and care about, who we otherwise take for granted.

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