Projections - Movie Reviews

The Terminal
The Terminal
Starring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci,
Chi McBride, Diego Luna, Barry "Shabaka" Henley

The Terminal is filled with cautious people who are not likely to shake the boat. There like the guy in the mail room in the play “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” they play it safe.

Their world is altered when Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) a young Eastern European carpenter, who is visiting New York City finds himself a legal captive at JFK airport when a military coup erupts in his homeland rendering him a man without a country. Viktor can’t return home because his passport is no longer valid and he technically can not leave the international terminal because his entry into the United States is dependent on the same passport.

Viktor interacts with Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) the bureaucratic security manager who is up for a promotion and doesn’t want anything to get in his way. But Viktor changes the safe job security of Joe Mulroy (Chi McBride) a terminal cop who follows the orders he is given. Enrique Cruz (Diego Luna) works at moving food through the terminal which is headed for various flights. He is privately but not openly in love with Dolores Torres (Zoe Saldana) who continually refuses Viktor’s request for permission to visit New York City. Gupta (Kumar Pallana) is the man with a mop who enjoys watching folks fall when they don’t read his signs to be careful, while he holds a 23 year secret which could force him to be deported back to India..

Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones) a airline attendant with a seven year affair that is going no where shows Viktor affection for his genuine caring and honesty. Each one will be changed by Viktor’s presence as a resident for many months at terminal 67.

Hanks is a genuine treasurer he molds Steven Spielberg’s direction into a totally believable immigrant like personality who initially has no English skills, is determined to complete the mission of his visit, leads his life through honestly and has a startling command of carpentry.

Zeta-Jones effectively emits the near panic of her situation, she’s almost 40 and her affair is not going to result in anything permanent. Like the others change is difficult for her but Viktor reaches her by constructing a gift which reflects Napoleon’s gift to Josephine.

Viktor who is a captive of Dixon’s whims begins to show the way with gently persuasion beginning with the definition of a goat rather than a father which saves a life for another Eastern European who has drugs to take home. His carpentry lands him a job after Dixon stops him from collecting luggage carts and returning them for quarters which give him Berger King nourishment after days with out food.

The story has emotion and warmth as we begin to appreciate and care more and more for Viktor in his plight. At the same time the film is filled with comedy, some of which comes from facial expressions and mis-use of English words.

Viktor’s secret held inside a can of peanuts reveals his difficult pronunciation of Jazz to be correct and a clear extension of his character. Tom Hanks’ Viktor teaches us the effect a truly good man can have on people and gives us a performance which should not be missed.

The Terminal

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