Take a Gander at Human Spirit

Liisa Repo-Martell in Diverted (2009)

As a rule I have tried to avoid movies about 9/11 for a variety of reasons but the ones I have seen have tended to be gritty dramas. "Diverted" whilst another movie about 9/11 certainly can't be accused of being gritty with its fictional drama inspired by the story of all the planes which were diverted to Canada when American airspace was shut down directly after the terrorist attack. In fact "Diverted" at times seems to aim for the tone of "The Terminal" as whilst it has drama and a very present human angle it also has its fair share of lighter moments which whilst making it hackney-eyed also makes it easy to watch.

On the way to JFK airport from Heathrow, pilots receive notification of the planes flying in to the twin towers and the immediate closure of American airspace forcing them to divert to the small community of Gander, Newfoundland. There's is not the only plane as over thirty planes descend on the sleepy town forcing the local community to rally around to try and accommodate over 6,000 passengers; from finding them beds to supplying food, toiletries and entertainment. But as the passengers deal with the awkward circumstances the locals do their best as friendships are formed in the midst of this tragedy.

Anita Majumdar and Shawn Ashmore in Diverted (2009)

I will be frank, if you were to watch "Diverted" in hope of it being a realistic drama, filled with emotion and gritty drama you are likely to be severely disappointed as this is shall we say a friendly movie. From this real story of planes being diverted to Canada it creates a variety of stories; there is one about a passenger worrying whether or not his son was killed in the bombing, there is one about a Palestinian passenger being treated suspiciously and there is another a romance between a local who befriends a passenger. There is a lot more and basically for the most it takes a friendly tone and one which if you don't like easy going will seem incredibly cheesy.

But alongside these various storylines about the passengers and friendships it also delivers a heart warming story, again one which some may find cheesy. That is the power of human spirit to come together in the midst of a tragedy as we witness the residents of Gander unite to supply food and open their homes to the stranded passengers. This may be a fictionalised drama but it is one which reminds you that at times we can be damn good people.

Now whilst for the most "Diverted" plays it easy it does have some hard hitting moments in there, maybe cliche moments as we have a set up of a Palestinian passenger on the plane who becomes the focus of frustrations. But what helps things is the calibre of the cast, they may have some cheesy dialogue and simplified characters but the likes of Shawn Ashmore, David Suchet, Joanne Whalley and Anita Majumdar make them characters who keep us watching.

What this all boils down to is that "Diverted" is not a movie for everyone because of it being an easy going drama rather than a realistically gritty one. But considering so many movies about 9/11 have tried for realism this works as an alternative for those who prefer easy going.

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