- Steven Spielberg
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) finds himself stranded in a New York airport after his country suffers a revolt while he was on the air. Now a citizen of nowhere, Viktor is forced to make a living inside one of the terminals, much to the chagrin of the terminalís security chief (Stanley Tucci). Thatís also where he meets conflicted stewardess Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who enchants him.
To really enjoy The Terminal you have to understand one thing first and foremost: it is a fable. I went in expecting a movie grounded in reality, but I soon understood Spielberg had a different agenda. Because, you see, what he tried to do with this movie is channel the best Frank Capra inside of him. In a way, the movie could be considered an old-fashioned romp that serves as homage to Capra movies. And thatís a compliment actually.
Iíve read the movie is actually based (or inspired by) the real story of a guy who still lives in a Paris airport. Donít be fooled, you wonít find a dramatic movie based on that story. Instead this is a heart-warming, feel-good, crowd-pleasing movie if there ever was one. Thereís only one subplot that is resolved in a way that does not fit with the whole cheerful vibe, but thatís just a minor quibble. The movie is consistently uplifting in a magical way.
Take for instance the whole fountain thing, or the whole dinner sequence (one of the movieís best by the way), or the way Viktor suddenly finds a useful way to earn honest money, or the whole Enrique (Diego Luna) and Officer Torres (Zoe Saldana) thing. Iím actually amazed Spielberg went on with it. He took a huge risk and, at least for this viewer, he succeeded tremendously.
It also helps that Tom Hanks is such a great, great, great actor. I just donít know what this guy canít do. Weíve seen him in countless movies, yet from the very first scene in which we realize heís a foreigner who doesnít speak a word of English we believe him!!! And his character couldíve easily turned into a clown of sorts, or too much saccharine-inflicted. Not in his hands. He makes Vicktor a breathing, believable, amazing human being. And the rest of the cast is a perfect match for him.
One curious thingy: I barely noticed John Williamsí score!!!
ďThatís something a man like you could never hope to understand.Ē
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