Wednesday, August 02, 2017


Many people tried to leave the Soviet Union. In 1983 seven people tried to hijack Aeroflot flight 6833 which was flying from Tbilisi, Georgian to Leningrad via Batumi (which is close to the border with Turkey) with the aim of forcing the plane to go to Turkey. Hostages is a thriller about that hijacking.

Most of the film is scene setting, showing the lives of some of the would be hijackers and some of their preparations. The first act finishes with the wedding of Ana and Nika whose honeymoon is the cover for the group flying to Batumi. The second act is the flight and hijacking. Here the tension starts to mount as things don't go to plan and they hesitate and improvise. Then the shooting starts. There are a couple of time jumps during the hijacking with events left unexplained. It seems like the real events as to who shot who, and when, are still controversial.

The repeated message from the Soviet authorities is that the hijackers (which include an actor and 2 doctors) have had every advantage that the Soviet system can give them so why are they so ungrateful?

The final scene deals very briefly with their parents 8 to 10 years later.

Unfortunately despite most of the film being devoted to scene setting I didn't feel like I knew the hijackers by the time they get on the plane (apart from Nika perhaps). In fact I had more empathy for their parents. So I watched the hijacking from a somewhat detached point of view. The takeoff and beginning of the hijacking is by far the best bit of the film. The tension is ratcheted up and up and the emotional reactions are believable.

One odd thing about this film is that it opens with some of the would be hijackers on a Black Sea beach before moving seamlessly onto their everyday lives in Tbilisi, which might fool the unwary into thinking Tbilisi was near the Black Sea.

Ian's rating 2/5

No comments:

Post a Comment