30 years ago Dustin Hoffman put on a dress and shocked the world with his drag performance in Tootsie . This was fairly new territory at the time as transvestites weren’t exactly in the forefront of popular media. Flash forward to today and the Swedish comedy Cockpit , which comes off essentially as a remake of Tootsie . Here we’re presented with a down-on-his-luck pilot, Valle (Jonas Karlsson) who’s fired from his job, divorced from his wife, and forced to live with his sister in their childhood home. His mother doesn’t pay attention to him, his sister barely tolerates him, he hardly sees his son, and his ex-wife is getting married to a rich old man. Life is pretty bad for this guy. But a silver lining appears when he gets wind of a job as a pilot; the catch is that it’s only open for female applicants. So he busts open his sister’s closet and presto! He becomes Maria Andersson, a highly-qualified female pilot. Needless to say he gets the job and is soon embroiled in all kinds of wacky misadventures.
The film is a bit cliché, most of the plot has been done before, but it is still moderately charming. Karlsson is engaging and he has pretty good timing for all of the gags that he’s forced to pull off. The banter between the characters is quick and clever. The more dramatic aspects of the story are handled with a light touch and they help to maintain the overall tone of the film, which is funny and sweet.
When Valle first puts on the Maria disguise he is understandably nervous. But he quickly realizes that the make up, and the dress, and the wig are a way for him to remove himself from the troubles of his own life. He is able to start fresh and live in a bit of fantasy world. The Maria persona allows Valle to live an escapist existence wherein he is free to completely be himself and to fall in love again.
Is Cockpit Essential Inside Out Viewing?
Yes. This is a lighthearted film that offers a nice alternative to some of the heavier material on display at this year’s festival. That being said, this isn’t a great film, and you shouldn’t go into it expecting anything new or innovative, just have a good time.
Cockpit Screening Time
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