Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Terminal - a frustrating wait

the lone commenter (ok it was a friend and i literally threatened him with spam in his inbox )on my blog told me to tone it here i am after a week's hiatus. i saw The Terminal yesterday. its kinda old and being a steven spielberg product was something others deemed worthy of a theater visit. wrong. i saw it on dvd and am so much happier for that. i havent seen a flimsier storyline from the mani ratnam of the west. victor naworski comes to USA and is forced to stay at the JFK terminal after he finds that a coup has ousted his country's govt and that the US no longer recognises his country as a nation. they seize his passport and tom hanks who's already learnt to survive in a uninhabited island finds this a cinch. the handicap that offsets his proximity to burger king and potable soda is his lack of english diction , which he quickly masters comparing 2 tour guides, one in english and the other in his slavic tongue. no sweat for someone who can talk with volleyballs. he makes friends with the local airport employees ,helping one with his love life and enemies with the head of immigration who is determined to put him in some other dept's jurisdiction so he doesnt have to struggle with him. its kind of confusing as to why at first he wants victor out of his hair and later is determined not to let him go see new york. anyways victor lives happily in gate 67 applying for jobs within the airport and meets catherine zeta-jones a air-hostess who changes partners as frequently as flights. the question that has NOT been in anyone's mind is answered when he reveals that he is in the US to fulfil his father's dream of getting a sign from every one in a famous group of jazz musicians. if that was indeed a suspense the writers were hoping to spring , it worked on me. there was no indication of jazz music or a father or a promise he made to him till that point and suddenly its what the movie is all about. the war ends in his country and he is able to defy the immigration officer to go and get the jazz artist's sign.
the victor character is a little too selfless to believe. he is willing to sacrifice a whole lot more than a normal human being. tom hanks is too seasoned an actor to make any mistakes but i think spielberg made a wrong choice in selecting such a story .if such a movie is supposed to "slow me down and make me smell the flowers" it didnt work. i only felt frustrated that i spent 2 hours on it.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't think you can compare Spielberg to Mani Rathnam of the west. Though Mani Rathnam is good I agree, he is "just" a class above the typical Indian directors, not to mention the pathetic Dil Se. I know its not just about block busters or the number of flops that a director earns. Its about the untold story lands that a director boldly ventures into. Seriously Mani needs to come out of the terrorism, infiltration and war stuff. There iss more story to be told man. He got struck with a modus operandi(m.d). Could anyone expect a flick like Amistaad by the director of E.T. You may call him Kubrick of the present. Don't get me wrong I like Mani Rathnam but I seriously think he needs to break his m.d.

I dont think Terminal was as bad a movie as you put. I thought there was pretty strong reason why the officer wanted him to get out of the Terminal. He spells it out clearly when he says "Let's get him out of this place, then its not our problem. Its INS's problem". There is also a strong reason why the officer did not want to let him out of the Terminal later, after the "medicine for GOAT" incident. Thats 'cos he left him to look like a idiot before his superiors and he needed to vindicate him. He wants to show his power.

BTW this is a nice movie, the kind of movie I would like to watch after a hard days work. Except that I seriously need to think of owning a Aeron (my back hurts of late).

Anonymous said...

BTW the previous post was from me


catcharun said...

salutations oh supreme commenter..
i still dont like that movie. its not the kinda stuff expected from spielberg. as to the mani ratnam reference, it was placed there plainly to irk readers like u to post comments .. gotcha.
i think both are brilliant, disagree abt dil se. real life is something mani is able to adapt to the screen quite well. dil se may not have been a hit but its a character study that was quite appropriate to the time that it was released. iruvar was not a hit either and it was not just abt terrorism or any other social issue. the director eventually can choose the subjects he wants to shoot. i just said spielberg made a wrong choice. spielberg does have a range as you say but then again its his choice of what to shoot. mani on the other hand also scripts most of his movies. if he chooses to base it on something that is with the times, we should not take that to be a lack of subject matter. anyway both are directors who can see far beyond than most of their contemporaries. only hope they release more movies frequently.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed watching movie "The Terminal". Though there were lot of flaws in direction and story-line, good relaxer the movie was.

As the names started rolling after Victor's victory over the immigration officer, it dawned on me that it was directed by Steven Spielberg. That disappointed me.

Spielberg's touch, Spielberg-ism was missing. One EXPECTs much more than this from this virtuoso.

I enjoyed watching the movie, but by the end of the it, i was disappointed. This has lot to do with the term EXPECTATION.

As Ayudha Ezhuthu was getting released, I expected a lot out of it as it had the tag m.r. But it was a disappointer. On a scale of 5, i would give it just 2 marks.

Like any loyal m.r fan, i did watch the movie more than once, trying to figure out if at all there was any totalling mistake. But there was no change of score.

If the same movie was made by not-so-well-known director or a newbie, I might have given it 3 or a 3.5. But as it was not so, it did not meet the EXPECTATION.

And like any loyal m.r fan, me too was disappointed.


catcharun said...

onlooker : thanks for the comment.
expectation, hype these are all just related to one person's judgement. i am not saying you shouldn't have either but i really loved ayudha ezhuthu. you dont see movies like that everyday. it was probably not as entertaining as sami or even as interesting as alai payuthey. others say it was inspired by this movie amores perros but to me its a indian story that is told really well.

Anonymous said...

A movie need not be an entetainer or a mass film to be good. (Of course i do enjoy watching mass films!) I liked "Kannathil Muthamitaal" very much. It was not a big grosser nor was a big entertainer. But it had what i would call m.r's touch because of which I enjoyed watching it.

Somehow i felt that "AE" lacked m.r's touch. Might be I was expecting too much out of the film.

I do agree with you. Expectation is a thing that is personal. scales do vary.


Anonymous said...

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