Anyway, the story arc is that Earhart becomes famous, first for being famous, then for flying. She (and her publicist-husband) set her higher and higher tasks for a flyer and she develops a wider and wider circle of celebrity acquaintances. As determinedly played by Hillary Swank, she is intent on furthering aviation as a viable pursuit for women. Then one day, she flies away and never comes back. And as pleasant as the movie is up to this point, its failure to come to grips with the central enigma of Earhart's life--her disappearance--makes one wonder why the filmmakers embarked on the project at all. At first, I think it might be an interesting take on publicity and celebrity, in the mode of Coppolla's Tucker, which remains a spectacularly underrated film. It might have been about Earhart's strange marriage to Putnam, which seems to begin as a business arrangement, threatens to become more than that, and at the end, is simply unclear. Was Putnam grief-stricken at her loss? We don't know from this movie.
I think it is fair to say that, even if it is just out to amuse and distract for 90 minutes, every movie needs to know what it's about and make that clear to the audience. Mira Nair has not been doing well in that department lately.
One last observation--the film continues to mark the progress of digital special effects for the simple reason that no attention ever was called to them. And in a film like this, which has to be filled wall-to-wall with such effects in order to conjure up the world of the late 20s to the late 30s, it is only helpful to the narrative illusion that one has become unaware of such things.