Film Review of The Terminal: A Beautiful Attendant, a Charming Visitor, a Narrow-minded Manager, and Open-minded Airport Employees
Following proper procedure and having proper documentation are priorities for government workers. Imagination, leeway, and slack often have no role. The two opposing orientations meet with comedic and dramatic consequences in “The Terminal”.
Romantic comedy and drama alternate in The Terminal by writers Sacha Gervasi, Jeff Nathanson, and writer/producer Andrew Niccol; and producers Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes, and producer/director Steven Spielberg. Michael Kahn, Janusz Kamiński, and John Williams handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases New York City; Palmdale, California; and Montréal-Mirabel, Québec, Canada.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri’s (born 1942) 17-year-stay in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport, August 26, 1988-July 2006, inspires the film. The 128-minute film premiered on June 9 and 15, 2004 in Beverly Hills and New York City respectively. It was released by DreamWorks Pictures on June 18, 2004 in the United States.
The movie begins with Viktor Navorski’s (Tom Hanks) detainment by New York City’s Customs and Border Patrol. Police escort Viktor to Airport Security Manager Frank Dixon’s office (Stanley Tucci). Frank exchanges Viktor’s passport and return ticket for a beeper, 15-minute phone card, and food vouchers. He restricts Viktor to terminal confines since Washington and Krakozhia refuse him entry because of rebels overthrowing President Vagobagin’s government.
Viktor drops the vouchers, which airport employee Gupta (Kumar Pallana) tosses as trash. Viktor eats crackers slathered with fast-food condiments. He shaves and sponge-bathes in airport restrooms. He sleeps on chairs in Gate 67’s unused waiting area.
During his nine-month detainment, Viktor becomes fluent in English. He collects baggage trolleys at 25 cents each until Frank makes it employee responsibilities. He completes applications at airport businesses. Nobody hires him until a construction company pays him $19.00/hour to repair walls.
Viktor assists thirty-nine-year-old attendant Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones) when her high-heel breaks. Amelia ends her seven-year affair with married government official Max (Michael Nouri) after a patio dinner with Viktor. Gupta juggles hoops and plates, Mulroy (Chi McBride) pours wine, and Enrique (Diego Luna) serves them canneloni.
Viktor creates a thousand-fountain-decorated wall for Amelia. Amelia has Max issue Viktor a 24-hour visa. It is Amelia’s farewell present after unpleasant interactions with Frank.
As field commissioner, Frank punishes Viktor for:
- Becoming popular;
- Earning more money;
- Helping Milodragovich (Valeriy Nikolaev) get improperly documented medicine to his dying father;
- Matching Enrique and Dolores (Zoë Saldana);
- Refusing to provoke arrest.
He requires Viktor’s departure with President Vagobagin’s counter-coup. Airport employees first taxi Viktor to and from the Ramada Inn at 161 Lexington.
The movie ends with Gupta deported to India on 20-year-old assault charges and Viktor getting the last – Benny Golson’s – of 57 jazz musician autographs to honor father Dimitar Asenov Navorski’s dying wishes.
Copyright: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, by Derdriu.