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The terminal Review

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Jun. 20th, 2004 | 11:48 pm
気持ち: accomplished
音楽: I Can Feel It

It can be pretty obvious that there are some things in our lives that make perfect combinations. For example, there is milk and cookies, pancakes and syrup, and spam and rice. In the film industry, it can be noted that when you combine Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and John Williams, the results is usually a guarantee blockbuster film packed with surprises and heart-warming scenes. “The Terminal” however is not an exemplary product of such a combination. Similar to two other films (“Catch Me If You Can” and “Saving Private Ryan”) the theatrical threesome collaborates once again in this tantalizing tale of a man trapped at the terminal.
The flight comes in from an East European country at a New York terminal and Victor Navorski (Tom Hanks) exits the plane, but he is stopped suddenly at immigration. Victor, who is confused and does not have the English ability to communicate effectively to the immigration officers, is told that since war has broke out in his country, his passport is no longer valid on US soil. Because Victor cannot exit the airport to complete his business in New York, he becomes a prisoner of the terminal.
What started out as a possible three to five day mishaps ends up becoming much longer than expected. Victor quickly learns that he must fend for himself within the terminal. His country’s money has become useless and he begins to find innovative methods of surviving. He starts by making sandwiches out of crackers, but learns that there are other possibilities to finding money and food, including becoming a matchmaker.
While his entrapment continues to extend longer and longer with each day of war, Victor quickly becomes a small time celebrity. Through his kindness towards the other employees and his heroicness, he establishes a short-term residency in the terminal. Above all, Victor also finds a heart racing romance with a flight attendant. Through all this waiting the question remains, will Victor ever find his way out of the terminal or will he be destined to become a permanent resident in the crack between two countries?
What did not work for this film? That would be the perplexing question after looking at the ratings for the opening week-end box office sales of June 18th – 20th . How could three dynamic people who have brought life to many films prior to “The Terminal” create a film with disappointing results? Could it be the fake Russian accent from Tom Hanks? Could Spielberg be in the middle of a director’s slump? Or could Williams be suffering from “composer’s cramp?” I would state that it is more or less due to the nearly unbelievable plot of the film. The fact that there could possibly be a person who is caught in an airline terminal without any avenues of exiting is harder to swallow than frozen steak. Furthermore, it is in competition with other blockbuster hits that opened out due to summer madness. The most important question is: is this film worth viewing?
In comparison to the previously mentioned two films, “The Terminal” does fail to live up to the hype. While I personally thought the film to be quite heart-warming in the end, the fact that Hanks was attempting to pull of the Russian accent did not convince me enough. I did however enjoy his character and all of the unique difficulties the character had to endure during the film. I believe Hanks was able to make his character alive through his performance of Victor’s struggles. On a positive note, the film’s ending is notable in that it put the perfect closure to the film. Though unexpected and slightly disappointing, it creates this unusual closure to the film, which may leave the audience “satisfied.” The film is comical, but not gut-busting funny; simply put “ha ha” type of funny. If you are just curious to see how to survive in an airport, then you may enjoy this film, if not, wait and catch it when it lands in a cheaper price setting.

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