Starring: Jonas Karlsson, Marie Robertson, Ellie Jelinek
Director: Mårten Klingberg
Running Time: 96 mins
Cockpit is a Swedish film about an airline pilot who, after being fired from his job, disguises himself as a woman in order to be hired as a pilot once again.
I had a lot of fun with this movie. As zany and frankly ridiculous as its premise is, Cockpit manages to keep itself impressively grounded with a small cast of characters and a clearly self-aware sense of humour, taking the story of a man disguising himself as a woman to insane proportions all in the name of a good laugh – and some nice emotional drama too.
Let’s start with the film’s biggest strengths: the performances. In the lead role(s), Jonas Karlsson is great fun to watch, particularly in his female get-up. While he’s perfectly likable in his normal attire, he doesn’t go overboard with a stereotypical cross-dressing performance, instead making it so that you really believe everyone else believes he’s a woman.
Alongside Karlsson there are also two outstanding supporting turns from Ellie Jelinek as his sister and Marie Robertson as his/her love interest. Jelinek, despite playing a smaller role, is hugely memorable and impressively involved in proceedings, while Robertson is a thoroughly entertaining love interest for Karlsson, making the film’s bizarre central romance all the more fun to watch.
Couple those performances with strong direction throughout from Mårten Klingberg which gives the film a zany, breakneck pace and blends both crazy comedy with moments of genuinely captivating emotional drama, and Cockpit turns out to be a thoroughly enjoyable watch from start to finish.
The film’s manic sensibilities and crazy plot twists are without doubt part of its charm, particularly during the ludicrous final act. There are times when things do feel a little too far beyond reality, but Cockpit manages to somehow make itself both convincing and playfully silly, a rare balance in mainstream comedies.
Overall, then, I had a lot of fun with Cockpit. Zany, fast-paced and full of laughs, the film is a real joy to watch from start to finish, while its three leading performances work wonders to bring laughs and captivating emotional drama together in impressive fashion. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 7.5.