Indie Flicks: Fight or "Flightmode"

It always amazes me how much information and plot short filmmakers can pack into such a limited amount of time. Liv Mari Ulla Mortensen’s Flightmode is no different. A film that is only 15 minutes long has the viewer hooked and reeled in by the three-minute mark. Flightmode, is a film about Lone, a twenty-something career woman trying to find where she fits in the world. If you are a millennial woman, you have perhaps found yourself in Lone’s shoes as well, an education and a degree but nothing to do with it. A defeating feeling that some of us know all too well.

The film opens with Lone in a hectic place. It is apparent that she is in some type of office building in a fairly large city, but the viewer doesn’t know what she is exactly doing at first. Upon her exit from the building, Lone looks disheveled and overwhelmed. Lone hops in her car and just drives. Something I bet we all wish that we could do after a long day at work or a bad job interview. The music, quick camera shots and lighting that take place during the driving scene gives the impression that a few hours have passed since she first entered her car. We don’t know where she is going, but we can’t wait to find out.

While Lone has pulled her car over in a parking lot on the side of the road, another car pulls into the lot with her and a group of teenagers get out. As Lone prepares to leave, a teenage girl named Hedvig knocks on her window and asks for a ride. Before Lone has a chance to answer, Hedvig hops in the backseat and starts to make conversation with Lone like they're old friends. Hedvig tells Lone about how she can’t wait to get out of that town and travel the world, make a real difference, normal angsty teenage girl goals. Lone listens along intently and we find out by the end of the film that Lone’s goals are not much different than Hedvig’s. Eventually, Lone finds herself at a gathering with some of Hedvig’s friends. When Hedvig first gets into Lone’s car, we as viewers are made to believe that Lone is older and much more experienced than the girl. While hanging out with Hedvig's friends, it becomes apparent that maybe Lone isn’t all that older after all. Lone begins to speak with Hedvig’s boyfriend, a 19-year-old unemployed carpenter who is having extreme trouble finding an apprenticeship. When Hedvig and Lone are talking in the car, Hedvig makes this boy seem like he is an uninspired loser with no goals or ambitions, but upon hearing his side of things, it is easy to see that perhaps he is trying his best and things in the real world are much harder than expected. Lone confirms that for him when she tells him about an interview she went on earlier in the day that she blew and how the career she wants is just too narrow, and she will never be able to do what she truly loves.

At one point toward the end of the film, Lone is pushed by Hedvig into a river. At first, Lone panics and doesn’t know what to do, but eventually, she lays back and allows herself to float in the water. The water surrounds her body like a large black abyss, the viewer cannot tell where the water begins or ends. I feel that this scene was used as a metaphor for Lone’s current state of life and thinking. She feels as if she is floating along in life with no purpose even though she desperately longs to have one. She knows she can make a difference if she is given the chance, as so many of us believe about our own selves. Perhaps we are all just floating through a big black abyss that is our life, with no real knowledge of when it begins and when it ends.

Hedvig is used as a plot tool to show Lone what she once was I believe. The optimistic young girl believes with everything she has that if she could just get out of her small town and away from those small minded people, she could really make something of herself. Lone felt that way once as well. She eventually has to be the one to tell Hedvig that life does not always happen the way that you want it to and believe it or not it can be a lot crueler than you think it is at 16. There are countless films and books that already cover this topic. The optimistic youth that knows they could make something big of themselves, but for some reason, most of these films end before the youth is even off to college. Perhaps the reasoning behind this is that no one knows where their life is going to take them or what is going to happen. You can plan and plan but no matter what, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. Sometimes you just gotta get into your car after a rough day a drive far, far away.