The Terminal (2004) Review

Victor Novarski arrives at JFK Airport to head into New York City, theres a bit of a problem though his home country since he left has become war torn and no longer recognised by the US. He is therefore stuck in the airport terminal.

So he’s a man without a country and not allowed to therefore enter the United States, his passport isn’t valid so he’s basically just stuck in limbo.

I have seen this film quite a lot of times and in all honesty was shocked that I had never reviewed it before. I think Hanks is fantastic in the lead role and really shows his star quality as everything relies on his performance. What an incredible performance it is as well, one of those films that yes I own but cannot resist watching if it’s on TV!

As I said when reviewing Bridge of Spies you don’t go wrong with the Hanks/Spielberg combination and this one is no different. Who else could make a man having to live in an airport so compelling and emotional?

We are shown how he manages to adapt to everything that is thrown at him as to begin with every single thing goes wrong for Victor. He doesn’t seem to have any money in Dollars and even loses his meal vouchers. Which sees him eating crackers with different sauces, yes really. But he manages to get by in different ways despite the airport security staff doing everything possible to make it unbearable for him and difficult to survive.

We get a small complicated romance as well when Victor meets flight attendant Amelia Warren a few times as she is passing through the airport. The problem is we know from the start this is not going to end well, as she very openly talks about the man she is in love with who just happens to be married. It is a rather crushing moment near the end, which is acted out in such a good way.

The thing is though the reason Victor has travelled to New York and wants to go into the city. To meet a Jazz musician and get his autograph to add to the collection his father started. So if he wasn’t already likeable enough he has such a lovely reason for heading to New York.

The thing with the film is though that it has some rather serious moments and engagements but it balances them very well with funny moments. Ranging from what is said by different characters to visual comedy as well. The score fits in so well with the different scenes obviously John Williams!

It does make you wonder how you would find being stuck in an airport indefinitely, as he really has no idea when he will actually be able to leave. Would you be able to entertain yourself or would you make a run for it trying to get out into the City?

The latter did not even cross Victor’s mind he was told he wasn’t allowed to leave so he didn’t! The supporting cast in Catherine Zeta Jones, Stanley Tucci, Diego Luna and Zoe Salander really do add unique moments to the film. I don’t know it just all fits and works together so very well.

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