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Her Phone Has Been Set to 'Airplane Mode'

'Airplane Mode' is a young adult movie that is about a woman who learns to step away from her smartphone, and from social media.

Airplane Mode (2020)

4.5 / 5
4 / 5

Airplane Mode (2020) is a young adult movie that is centered around a woman who is addicted to her smartphone. When Ana, an influencer, crashes her car while talking on the phone, she’s shipped to her grumpy grandfather’s farm — and forced into a digital detox. Digital detox means being placed in a state where you have no access to any technological devices.

Viewers see a strong representation of Latinx in Airplane Mode, as hinted by the names of the main characters in the movie. Ana, the main character, is played by Larissa Manoela, a Brazilian actress. In fact, this movie is a Brazilian movie featuring many Latinx actors playing major roles. The director, Cesar Rodrigues, is of Brazilian descent.

The opening scene in Airplane Mode shows viewers how Ana is addicted to her phone. Viewers see text messages and calls displayed on the screen with emojis. She describes her phone as part of her blood. Her entire world and life are on her phone. She often contacts her boyfriend on her smartphone. When Ana drives in her car, she forgets the rule that she is not allowed to use her smartphone while driving and crashes into the rear end of a pickup truck. She posts a photo of the car accident and gets a million likes. She gets so absorbed in her phone that she doesn’t listen.

Things take a turn for the worse when Ana gets into a car accident that lands her in the hospital. The hospital scene serves as a turning point; Ana loses her smartphone privileges due to getting into too many car accidents in just one month, as shown by a court order. This mirrors the consequences of texting and driving in real life. Her life on her phone is placed on hold.

If viewers look closely, they notice the logo for photogram, a parody of Instagram. Also, the movie’s title, Airplane Mode, foreshadows the consequences Ana faces because of her social media addiction.

Setting plays an important role in Ana’s character arc. In the beginning, she lives in the city until she is forced to move. Her grandfather’s farm is located miles away from town with no cell service. Ana has a hard time getting used to her new surroundings and her new life without a smartphone. She is often asking people if she can borrow their smartphones.

The clothes she wears also reflect her character arc. Her personality at the beginning of Airplane Mode is labeled selfish and self-absorbed. She is seen wearing bright colors and sparkly outfits. Over the course of the movie, Ana learns to appreciate the true meaning of life without social media and smartphone technology, thus changing from selfish to selfless. Her fashion choices change from glamorous to simple.

Ana’s smartphone is a symbolic object representing her social media profile and her digital life. When Ana is on her smartphone, she is only concerned about her popularity status. After Ana’s phone is taken away, she realizes what she has missed out on in life. She gets her phone back midway through Airplane Mode, but she learns how to use her phone better.

Overall, Airplane Mode shows viewers that actions have consequences.