Ann and I went on a date and saw The Terminal starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg. Everybody wondered if we were in the right theater when they began to play that big giant tidal wave movie. Reels were changed and the correct movie began about ten minutes late. The Terminal is about Viktor (Tom Hanks) getting stuck in JFK airport in New York when his country goes into civil war. He isn't allowed to go home or out into New York. He ends being up there nine months. What is being birthed?
Some of the themes are,
loneliness--Hanks standing, stranded in the middle of the airport, with a zillion men and women, he doesn't speak the lanuage, and no one will stop.
busyness and its deadening effect on our souls --Zeta-Jones is a stewardess traveling here and there, her soul landing nowhere. She's involved in a 7 year affair with a married man whom she waits on with false hope to leave his wife. She implies there are other men. She speaks of the men she chooses as akin to ingesting poison. She wants more but settles for much less because she is unable to trust. She also has little value for who she is at her core as a woman.
community and connection--Hanks gradually begins to learn English and make friends with other workers at the airport. He becomes a folk hero of sorts when a Russian man is caught with pills he purchased in Canada to take home for his sick father. Hanks is called to come and interpret. The antagonist is going to take them away until Hanks says that he made a mistake and the pills are really for his goat. This would allow the man to keep the pills legally. The antagonist protests but is finally defeated. The Russian hugs Hanks and cries. Hanks says, "He really loves that goat."
One of Hank's friends, Gupta (an older Eastern Indian man) tells everyone about Hanks heroics and all of JFK loves him.
A couple of scenes point to the gospel. Zeta-Jones arranges for Hanks to get one day to go out into New York. Hanks takes the golden form and gets his approval from the woman who has denied him for the last nine months. He then has to go to the antagonist who, because the civil war just ended, can send Hanks home. Hanks has his business to do in New York to honor his father and wants to do it first. The antagonist threatens that he will fire or send to jail Hank's three closest friends if he does not comply and leave for Europe. Hanks says that he will go home for the sake of his friends. He suffers for the sake of others.
He walks by Gupta who calls him a coward. Gupta yells it as loud as he can. The security guard walking with Hanks fills Gupta in on what is going on.
Gupta then acts with the aroma of the gospel. He goes out to the tarmac with his mop in hand and stops Hank's plane home that is taxiing to the terminal. The flight is now delayed. He is immediately surrounded by police and will be shipped back to India on an outstanding assault warrent but smiles at Hanks through the window and yells "I'm going home!" as he motions him to go into New York and complete his task to honor his father.
Spielberg and Hanks may not have made the greatest movie ever but there is meaning in it and some very funny scenes as well. It reminds me of the pace and rhythm of Joe vs. The Volcano, their first film together.