People spending their lives on AirPorts need not be a strange phenomenon in India. Because though not on Air Port we see many people spending their life time on Railway and Bus stations. Jokes Apart (it was a joke :), The terminal is a movie that can be summarized as a life story of a person whose fate puts him in a situation where in he has to stay on a Terminal for a very long time.
With the able direction of Steven Spielberg and with a story that apparantly doesn have much weight; what we get a is a superb movie that not only makes to stick to your chair but also get emotionally involved with the life of Viktor Navorski the protagonist played by Tom Hanks. He carries the entire movie on his shoulder with such an ease that some times you wonder how can he be so PERFECT.
The story starts with Navorski entering on JFK airport in New York. It so happens that his country Krakozia (a purely fictional nation) looses its identity due to some civil war. Entering on the airport the authorities have a great trouble explaining him the situation as Navorski doesnt understand english.
Finally get gets hold of the situation and decides that he will now stay on the terminal itself. He finds shelter at gate no 67. With many funny moments for the viewer Navorski finally starts understanding the American culture.
The Airport security chief Dixon on other hand get very much apprehensive at Navorski’s attitude and sheer persieverence. A self centered and egoist Dixon wants him to step out of the airport so that he could arrest him. Navorski never gives him a chance.
To Dixon’s disappointment Navorski also finds a way to earn money. He learns that if he aligns the luggage trolly in the proper places he a earns a quarter. That makes enough for his bread and butter.
Accidentally he meets an air hostess Amelia played by Katherine Zita Jones. She behaves like a nymph and wants to go out with him. He too likes her. However other staff on the air port which includes Gupta and Indian who is convicted in India for killing a Policeman believe that he might be a spy. That is really funny. Before they allow him to join their group they literally put him in the X ray machine to find out if he has a microphone hidden in somewhere.
They become really good friends. Navorski learns english. HOW? Well he finds a magazine which is available in both English as well as Russian which he happens to know. So he compares both and reads the words.
Just as when you feel restless to see some twist in the story Spielberg gives it to you. Navorski turns out to be an excellent mason which is accidentally (and in a funny way) discovered by some contractor on the airport. Later he takes the charge of most of the work that the contractors comments to his friend. “I am not supposed to ask him what he is doing, I am supposed to tell him what to do. However if I open my mouth in front of him, he makes me feel like an idot.”
Dixon on other hand learns that Navorski is making 19$ per hour which happnes to be more than his salary. 🙂
But through out the story Navorski maintains a Beans Tin box with him, and no one knows whats there in side. When asked he says it has Jazz in it.
Later he reveals to Amelia that his father in Russia had collected 39 signatures of different Jazz artists accept one. His father waited for 40 years for this. He made a promise to his father that he will get the signature of the 40th artist who lives in NewYork. To keep this promise he has arrived in New York.
How he gets the signature is worth a watch and climax.
He gets the signature, sits in the taxi, and the driver asks him. Where are you going sir?
His reply is apt and something that he waited for so many years : I WANT TO GO HOME