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Movie of The Day: The Terminal (2004)

“Do you have an appointment?”
The Terminal is a film that seems to be written for an actor like Hanks. Like the films Castaway and Catch Me If You Can, it's very character-driven. At times, the story loses its direction, but it could be intentional on the part of Spielberg (and the screenwriters), because that's the way the main character (Victor Navorsky) feels.
The film follows Navorsky as he lands at the JFK airport in NYC and eventually learns that he is stuck in the international lounge of the airport due to the dissolution of his homeland and the fact that the US will not immediately recognize the new government. As Navorsky begins to learn of his new predicament and how to cope, he makes mistakes and must use his mind to come up with alternate methods to get food, shelter, money and work. Truly, in many ways, Navorsky's story embodies what the mythological American Dream is all about with him using resourcefulness to show a sort of rugged individualism that causes him to "pull himself up by his bootstraps." That is one of the great strengths of the films script.
The other great strength is the much welcomed femininity of Zeta Jones' character about halfway through the film. At some points, the viewer might wonder how this relationship is going to resolve itself before the end of the film with Zeta Jones as the promiscuous flight attendant and Hanks as the wandering, yet trapped foreigner. Well, I'm happy to say, the writers make the brave choice with her character that isn't Hollywood. At the same time, she still seems to redeem herself.
I have to say it is a great one that first shows the meaning and beauty in our life about waiting and promise. Amelia is waiting for her dream to come true for eighteen years, for herself; Navorski's dad was waiting for something he honored so much for his life; and here comes Navorski, who waits for making his father's left dream come true, for fulfilling his promise, for the woman he fell in love, in a "crack" between the US and his own country.
He has done everything for others around him. If there is a great example of "egoless", he is one. Letting go ego, is the greatness that even Amelia found out when she gives up and scarifies something most important in her life to help Navorski.
This simple story conveys some wonderful philosophy for people living in this country busy around everyday for business, families, and so on, to slow down and reflect on something. As the retired officer said to officer Dixon, there is something we can learn from Navorski. 9/10


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