The movie “The Terminal”, directed by Steven Spielberg from the year of 2004, tells the story of a man, who cannot leave a terminal at the JFK International Airport, due to a revolution in his country and his entrance into the US being denied. Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) is a man from a small country in Eastern Europe, called Krakozhia. He flies to New York City, to fulfill a promise he made to his father, before he dies. But, while in the air, there was a revolution in his country and a military coup. Now, he belongs to “nowhere”, and needs to stay in the International Area, until the United States government recognizes the “New Krakozhia” as a country, in order to grant Viktor a visa.
At first, Viktor doesn’t understand what is happening, because he doesn’t speak English and can’t understand what the security director (Stanley Tucci) - or anyone – says. For days, he sleeps in a bed made of chairs, cleans himself in the bathroom sink, and eats leftovers.
When a catering guy sees his situation, he offers Viktor food, in return for a favor: help him to win the immigration officer’s (Zoe Saldana) heart. The Krakozhian guy accepts the deal, and every day talks to the immigration officer, until one day, she accepts the catering guy’s proposal, and they get married.
In the meantime, Viktor meets a beautiful flight attendant (Catherine Zeta – Jones), named Amelia, and falls in love with her. After breaking up with her boyfriend, she gives Viktor a chance, but, as soon as Viktor starts making those friends, the security director tries to find a way to make him leave the airport and get arrested, which would mean Viktor wouldn’t be his problem anymore.
By the end of the movie, Amelia gets a one-day visa for Viktor, so that he can leave JFK and fulfill his dad’s promise. Unfortunately, the next day the war in Krakozhia is over, and he’s not allowed to go to New York, but has to return to his country. Then, a floor cleaner friend of Viktor somehow delays the flight, and he is able to leave the airport.
In my opinion, it would be way easier if the security director REALLY tried to solve Viktor’s problem, and not just pushed it to another department, by talking to the big mangers or to the United Nations.
The movie, mainly in its first scenes, made me reflect about how people, especially at the airports, act selfishly and don’t help other people who have problems (like Viktor), perhaps because of their fear of security checks, or of the stressful and exhausting trips.