Movie ‘The Terminal’: No Boundaries for Human Emotions

Steven Spielberg is one of the few directors whose popularity exceeds many well-established actors/actresses. Known for his exceptional ability for telling stories, each of his movies is unique in itself. ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Or Catch me if you can’, ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Schindler’s List’; the list of movies is endless. A few years ago, I watched ‘The Terminal’. I have never looked airport in the same way again. First watched it in English, later in German and Spanish.

Being stuck in an unknown place, not knowing the language, and having little certainty about your future; forms the core of this movie. This movie is inspired by the real-life of Mehran Karimi Nasri, an Iranian citizen who lived at the Paris airport for 18 years. In this movie, our main character Viktor Novorski is stuck at a New York airport because of the civil war in his home country ‘Krakozia’.  He is not allowed to leave the airport because of a small loophole in the legal system. He is not a resident of any country, has no place to call home other than the airport terminal, and he is all alone in a new country without any friends. Think about this for a second.

As the movie progressed, we can see that he has eventually adjusted to this new reality. He learn the English language, bonded well with the airport staff, and even found a job. He made the best out of his situation. So much that people were in tears when he was finally leaving at the end of this movie. What are some hidden messages from this movie?

Life Purpose: Viktor Novorski had a purpose. He promised something to this dying father. His father wanted to get autographs of all the musicians, who performed in a famous jazz concert. His father died before fulfilling his dream. Viktor got signatures from all but one. He came to New York to get the signature of this last individual. This purpose helped him to survive all the hardships he has faced living in the airport terminal. He was finally able to fulfill his father’s last wish.

We don’t have to be inspired by him but having a goal/purpose in life does help to keep us going.

Openness: We humans are very special creatures. We possess qualities like empathy, openness, and a desire to help those who are in need. This is beautifully depicted in this movie. Some of the airport staff were not sympathetic to Viktor Novorski, but many others were ready to help him. This celebration of humanity is so beautiful. We all crave respect, friendship, and love. Viktor Novorski, though in a movie, got it all. I would say he got it very easily because of the movie, but it is much more difficult to get in a real life 🙂

Darwin’s principle: Charles Darwin’s famous theory of survival of the fittest is indirectly applicable in this movie. This theory stressed the need to adapt to changing circumstances. When faced with adversities, Viktor Novorski changed himself completely to face the new realities. He could have just survived but he decided to thrive by making changes in his life.

United States: The United States is always presented as a country open to everyone who are willing to learn & contribute. This movie highlighted various times about this opennes and reflected in the life of Viktor Novorski. rewarded for opennes to Viktor Novorski. He was offered a job on his skills without worrying too much of his legal status. How real is it? How much open is the USA? I cannot say for sure as I have never lived there.

In the end, Tom Hanks brilliant performance made this movie fun to watch. Very simple storyline backed by good performances by all the leading characters and supporting casts. If you are looking for some happy moments, this is the movie for you to watch during this weekend.

Some links to get more information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehran_Karimi_Nasseri

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Terminal

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2004/sep/06/features.features11

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