Stumbling upon movies I’ve never heard of and/or don’t know anything about it wonderful. It means I have absolutely no expectations. Therefore, I can’t be let down but, I can be surprised. And this is a case of the latter. I don’t even know how I came across Flying Home (2014) (also known as Racing Hearts) but I did…and it was worthwhile.
Meet Colin (Jamie Dornan). Hotshot New York businessman climbing to the top. He’s the best at closing large deals and because of this, tasked with reeling in the business of Sheikh (Ali Suliman) who is about to sign with another company. In order to show commitment (obviously to cinch the deal), Colin promises to get Sheikh a prized pigeon who’s owner refuses to sell him no matter the amount of money offered. Not being honest as to his intentions, Colin finds himself in a Flemish village where the pigeoneer and his prized bird (and granddaughter) live.
I loved being transported to Flanders, “meeting” the people and experiencing a story with something different – homing pigeons. While there isn’t much around the actual racing or breeding, it was just the fact of having a different back-story. And, amidst all of this, watching Colin make his ruthless decisions (“Bastard” is what Jos Pauwels (Jan Decleir) says of him) for the sake of his financial success while ignoring the feelings and well being of those he uses in the process.
Tied in with the story is that of “Cher Ami“, a homing pigeon who helped save roughly 550 soldiers in World War I despite being seriously wounded from an attempt to shoot her down. She was subsequently awarded the Croix de Guerre by France. I appreciate movies that send me off on a research path afterwards. Learning something along the way.
I was pleasantly surprised by Jamie Dornan who I’ve never seen before and had probably pigeonholed (no pun intended) because of Shades of Grey (which I avoided so am not really in a position to be judgemental). But I was truly won over by the supporting Belgian cast of Charlotte De Bruyne, Jan Decleir, Josse de Pauw and Viviane de Muynck who added a wonderful feeling of authenticity and tenderness.
While I understand that in reality decisions made aren’t always as easily resolved, it is, after all, a movie and classified as “Drama/Romance” on IMDB so I’m after a positive ending. It’s never soppy though. Probably more Drama than Romance.
Flying Home is directed by Dominique Deruddere who also gave us the great Everybody’s Famous! (2000).