MH370 The Plane That Disappeared review: Ridiculous Netflix documentary deliberately leans into conspiracy theories

Every episode of the new Netflix documentary series MH370: The Plane That Disappeared begins with a voiceover claiming that the 2014 disappearance of a commercial airliner remains “one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time.” But instead of trying to solve it, or investigate it Why no one has been able to fix it, the series is wasting everyone’s time by intentionally circling the sky even though it has been cleared to land. It’s a really cruel joke and very disrespectful to the people who lost relatives in the tragedy.

The world was in its grip when a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing disappeared without a trace in 2014. No wreckage was found in the South China Sea, where it was last seen on radar, and despite the efforts of multiple countries, no one was able to find the plane or the wreckage. It was as if it had disappeared off the face of the earth. Such stories often attract armchair sleuths and self-proclaimed “experts.” But most filmmakers are wise enough not to show them in a sober documentary.

However, over the course of three episodes, MH370: The Plane That Disappeared provides a platform for such nonsense that Professor Calculus himself could have popped up and claimed that the Tintin story Flight 714 was based on fact, and I wouldn’t have struck a beat. eyelid. It would be inaccurate to compare MH370: The Plane That Disappeared to one of those Loch Ness Monster documentaries that spent a few hours with their eyebrows raised, as if to say, “Yeah, we know this is bullshit,” only to add with a mischievous smile, “But is it?” Because director Louise Malkinson is well aware that most of the people she’s chosen to stand out over others in the series are goofballs. And this makes MH370: The Plane That Disappeared an extremely cynical exercise.

“There was a swirling fog of unanswered questions. But it was clear to me. The overwhelming amount of evidence strongly supported my theory,” says a talking head in one of the most comically nonsensical statements in recorded history. This person, a journalist, has a habit of taking every piece of official communication and not filtering it through the mainstream journalistic sense of skepticism, but using it as a launching pad for completely imagined fantasies. This is the kind of guy who’s normally limited to two seconds of screen time in a satirical montage in a run-of-the-mill documentary, but MH370: The Plane That Disappeared almost presents him as his own version of FI: Drive to Survive’s Will Buxton. two full episodes.

Depending on the nationality of the person speaking, different governments are held responsible – not for botching the investigation, but for being part of a rash global espionage racket. Everyone has ideas about the how and when, but no one bothers to ask the most important question: Why. Episode one is devoted almost entirely to the theory that the plane’s captain shot down the plane in a murder-suicide. The second episode suggests that secret agents infiltrated the plane’s “nerve center” and took control of the plane after hacking into the computers.

Things really take a turn when in episode three an eccentric man appears who is only described as ‘adventurer’. This character claims to have recovered debris from the missing plane after simply calling some people in Madagascar, walking along the beach and seeing parts of a plane. He is able to do this years after a concentrated international effort to locate the crashed plane came to naught. It’s one thing to question the adventurer’s credibility, but our favorite journalist leads the story in such an astonishing direction that even he can’t help but question his sanity.

Despite all this, he gets most of the screen time in the series. Even though the filmmakers had access to much more reliable voices, including an aerospace veteran who occasionally pops up to make fact-based inferences, later denouncing the conspiracy theorists as attention-seeking diversions. But when he says this, the series is not rid of its otherwise ethical doubts.

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared could very easily have focused on the human toll of the tragedy. Several bereaved people still seem to be searching for closure, and it’s harrowing to watch them helplessly search for answers. A handful of them have even agreed to participate in this series. But we must remember one thing: it is possible, the Air Crash Investigation series has shown us, to take verifiable facts and present them through a scandalous lens. You don’t have to invent them. But MH370: The Plane That Disappeared has the tone and texture of a reality series, and that’s irresponsible.

MH370: the plane that disappeared
Director -Louise Malkinson
Judgement – 2/5

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