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 Terminal, The / Терминал

Режиссер: Steven Spielberg

Страна: USA

Жанр: Drama

Год выпуска: 2004

Актеры: Tom Hanks (as Viktor Navorski), Catherine Zeta-Jones (as Amelia Warren), Stanley Tucci (as Frank Dixon), Chi McBride (as Joe Mulroy), Diego Luna (as Enrique Cruz), Barry Shabaka Henley (as Ray Thurman), Kumar Pallana (as Gupta Rajan), Zoe Saldana (as Officer Torres), Eddie Jones (as Salchak), Michael Nouri (as Max), Jude Ciccolella (as Karl Iverson), Corey Reynolds (as Waylin), Guillermo Dнaz (as Bobby Alima), Rini Bell (as Nadia), Stephen Mendel (as First Class Steward)

Война стёрла с лица Земли крошечное восточноевропейское государство, и бедный эмигрант Виктор Наворски, рванувший за счастьем в Америку, оказался в двусмысленном положении. Как у подданного несуществующего государства, у него на руках остались потерявшие силу документы, а эмигрантский статус он ещё не обрел. Теперь, по закону, Виктор не имеет права покидать пределы аэропорта имени Кеннеди, и вынужден обживать огромные пространства местного терминала. За время его удивительных мучений он успевает обрести друзей, неприятелей и даже новую любовь...

When I first saw the theatrical trailer for The Terminal recently, I was initially worried about the fact that Tom Hanks takes on such a heavy accent, since his character is from Krakozia (sp?) and speaks only a few words of English. This is not, in my opinion, necessarily one of the hardest things for an actor to accomplish (because I think a lot of the road to success is paved by the audience's ability to believe an actor with a new accent), but rather one of the hardest things for an audience to accept. A well known actor taking on a different accent or, in this case, a completely different nationality and language, tends to call attention to the man or woman on screen talking so differently from how we are used to hearing them. Tom Hanks, nevertheless, pulls it off flawlessly, once again demonstrating the sheer vastness of his screen presence and acting skill.

Spielberg once again delivers an immensely moving story about a man trying to get home, a theme that he clearly loves, since just about every movie he's ever made boils down to that theme. The reverberations and reflections of the things that are going on in the world today are impossible to miss, which is why it shocked me to read one reviewer on the IMDb refer to The Terminal as a light-hearted romp. Yes, it's a lot of fun, it's amusing, endearing and charming, but it's also extremely powerful in a very serious way. It features the second most direct and blatant impersonation of government officials working in America today, second only to the replica of Dick Cheney in The Day After Tomorrow. Stanley Tucci plays the part of an customs and immigration official, whose charge to look after national security matters at a major airport disquietingly echoes much of what is going on in America today. The little American flag that he always wears on his lapel is far too similar, in size, shape, and location, to the one that George W. Bush always wears to possibly be a coincidence.

The story is remarkably simple. Tom Hanks plays the part of Viktor Navorski, a man who has traveled to New York for reasons that are revealed near the end of the movie, and while he is on the plane to New York, his country falls into a military coup and basically ceases to exist, leaving Viktor without a country and without a valid passport, and thus nowhere to go but the terminal. He can't set foot in America and he can't go back to his country until it establishes a government recognized by America. He is a perfectly innocent illegal alien who has fallen through a loophole in what is meant to be the most sophisticated national security system in the world. And since I live here, I like to think that it really is.

The movie walks a very fine line between sadness and comedy, since Viktor's hardships tug the heartstrings so much but the movie itself is so funny, and these two emotions are woven together to create an unusually strong bond with the character who, like Chuck Noland in Cast Away, is basically stuck on a deserted island and left to his own resources to survive. Chuck Noland had to literally live off the land for years, Viktor Navorski now has to survive in an isolated location, surrounded by capitalism, indifferent Americans in a hurry to catch their flight or get home, and a bureaucracy that increasingly wishes he would just disappear.

As Viktor proves to be capable of following the rules that were laid out for him (and in a language that he could hardly understand), Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) grows increasingly impatient, which leads to the most biting criticism that the movie makes of the way the American government handles the maintenance of national security at our airports and, presumably, beyond. Viktor is stuck in a terrible situation, and Dixon does little to make it easy on him. He explains to him that he can't leave the airport until further notice, and then forgets about him until it turns out that he is doing exactly what he is told. Here you have a national security officer who is faced with a timid and exceedingly polite foreigner who he can't allow to step onto American soil, and because he is obeying all the rules set out for him, Dixon doesn't have a clue in the moon what to do.

From this point on, Dixon does everything from explaining to Viktor that for a specific five minutes, a specific door into America will be left completely unguarded and available for easy escape to planning to basically pass him on someone else. Release him, but just enough so that someone else will catch him and then he'll be someone else's problem. Dixon can't arrest him unless he breaks some law, and Viktor is apparently entirely unwilling to break any law, even to pass into America unlawfully when the man in charge of the airport's security has instructed him to do so.

While living in the terminal, Viktor sets up his own little living space in an area of the airport that is under construction, and he gradually becomes known throughout the airport. There is a particular scene involving a Russian man who needs to take medicine to his dying father, but Dixon insists that the prescription drugs must remain in America until the proper red tape can be processed, and Viktor diffuses the situation in a tense scene which makes him a hero throughout the entire airport. How everyone heard about it I'm not entirely sure.

There are also numerous smaller stories that take place as a result of Viktor being stuck in the airport. Catherine Zeta-Jones passes through the movie on a wispy strand of a plot involving a flight attendant who is having an emotionally destructive relationship with a married man, and as she and Viktor grow closer and closer together, although not quite close enough for a whole date, she goes back to the married man that has been causing her all kinds of pain, disappearing into his arms and out of the movie. There is a charming Indian janitor named Gupta, who is unable to go back to his country for reasons that are slightly hinted at by the extent of the pleasure he gets from seeing people take nasty spills from walking across his wet floors. Then there is a food services employee who befriends Viktor in hopes that he can help him to win the heart of one of the women working at the immigration office, which seems to be the story put in to balance out the ones involving Catherine Zeta-Jones and Gupta, who suffers a rather unfortunate fate that is never shown.

The Terminal is a simple story that moves along quickly and efficiently because the script and Hanks' acting make us care so much about the character of Viktor Navorski that we really want to see how his story pans out, we really want everything to work out for him, even if some laws have to be broken along the way. Spielberg has been accused of being sappy many times, and if he is guilty of it in this movie, it is because of things like the portion of the movie that explains why Navorski was in America in the first place, but only because something that moving is not necessary in order for the audience to care enough about Viktor for the movie to be effective.

Viktor had us at `Krakozia!'

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