‘The Hijacking Of Flight 601’ Review: A Solid Drama That Encapsulates The Audience Into The Story

There are very few television shows or movies out there that capture the horrors of hijackings, which were very common from the 1960s to the 1980s across the world. As stated in this Netflix Original as well, there were over 380 hijackings that happened all around the world, and most of them happened in Latin America ever since the rise of communism, with Che Guevara and Fidel Castro becoming the faces of it. It is appalling to learn such stories never made it to the screen, but decades later, The Hijacking of Flight 601, a Colombian Netflix original, brings a story inspired by a real-life event that took place in the year 1973. Created by C.S. Prince and Pablo Gonzalez, the six-part miniseries, was released on April 10, 2024.


The Hijacking of Flight 601 is a detailed retelling of an incident that occurred in South America in the same year as mentioned in the series. The flight that was scheduled to depart from El Dorado to Cali was hijacked by two young men who believed in revolution or death, who then demanded a ransom and the release of the revolutionaries by the then president of Colombia. The flight only had one stewardess, who had passed out of fear.

On the other hand, recently fired stewardess Edilma volunteers to board the hijacked plane to help the passengers and the crew on board with pacifying the situation. Along with her comes Barbara, who initially thinks this would be an exciting experience, but it soon turns into the stuff of nightmares. The airline director, Aeristides Pirateque, tries to begin some negotiations with the hijackers, but he is sidelined by the owner of the airline, who tries to bring in politics and ego to sort out the matter that affects many citizens and their children on board. Was Pirateque successful in striking a fair deal with the hijackers, or did the negotiation fall apart? Where was the crew taken? Were the hijackers eventually killed?


The show is an excellent example of how simple storytelling could be elevated if the makers invested in good writers. The screenplay of The Hijacking of Flight 601 does not take any detours, unlike many other shows coming out of the Latin America region. Thankfully, there are no convoluted narratives or subplots that deviate from the real subject matter. Every subplot is somehow connected to the main plot of the show, and this improves the engagement factor. There are several subplots involving the lead characters, and their graphs are charted sensibly. The writers do not take any viewers for granted, which is a good thing, as they do not indulge in any spoon-feeding in the form of lazy flashback sequences.

The subplot involving Edilma and her courage to show up for her employers just to retain the job has been written with a lot of sensitivity. Her only aim is to remain alive for her children, and her perseverance on paper translates well on screen thanks to some amazing performances and scenes that describe Edilma’s fear and pain. Another subplot involved Pirateque, who was trying to make sure this airline hijacking did not become a PR disaster for his company. His wit and conversations are the highlights of the show, and the writer did a good job of exploring his complexity and eventually showcasing his good nature as someone who wants to help people. Pirateque initially comes across as unlikeable but soon transforms into someone who tried hard to do the right thing but was sidelined. Additionally, the series covers the story of the hijackers and who lured them into carrying out the crime is an interesting way to present the story from a different perspective. Initially, the viewers would consider this as glorification and justifying their act of crime. Eventually, it comes across just as reasoning for how they were manipulated and brainwashed into believing the world is unfair.


The screenplay of the show is tight, and it addresses the issues of class and race divide extensively. This subject is a point of content for every socialist country, and there is a lot of talk about it, especially by the hijackers. The screenplay would have easily fallen apart into a million pieces if the makers had tried to add in some over-the-top drama. The direction by David Pombo takes the show to another level. The tension created in the show has to be lauded, as has the director’s complete control over the written material. The direction could have easily derailed, keeping in mind that the screenplay does a lot of back and forth between Colombia and other Latin American countries the plane travels to. They refrain from using any element that would ruin the show for good. The dialogue is excellent, and it showcases how misogynistic that era was, where women were reduced to decorative objects and nothing beyond that.

The Hijacking of Flight 601 would surprise you in many other departments as well. The cinematography by Emiliano Villanueva adds to the tension of the show, as many passengers are desperate to be saved. Some amazing slo-mo shots add to the depth and layers of the characters and their motivation to act a certain way. The production design, the costumes, and the makeup are all on point. All of them come together for the viewer to experience a wonderful period drama that has a slightly stretched ending. All these elements transport the viewers to that decade of turbulence and fear.


The performances of all the actors are excellent. They have done a wonderful job of presenting hope and fear with absolute finesse. Mónica Lopera, as Edilma, is brilliant as the mother, who tries very logically to solve matters so that she can go back to her children. Her desperation is palpable. Christian Tappan as the pilot Richard Wilches is brilliant as the man who wants to save his crew and the passengers and, in that process, tries to make the right decisions by offering the right kind of guidance to the hijackers. Angela Cano as Barbara is excellent as a scared stewardess who got entangled in this without realizing the seriousness of it. The standout performer is Enrique Carriazo as Aeristides Pirateque, who is brilliant as the negotiator trying to balance his employers and the hijackers. The varied expressions he showcases throughout the series need to be viewed. Overall, The Hijacking of Flight 601 is surprisingly a good watch, with much edge-of-the-seat stuff for the viewers to enjoy. 

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

Latest articles