Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steven Spielberg|
|Produced by||Steven Spielberg
Walter F. Parkes
|Screenplay by||Sacha Gervasi
|Story by||Andrew Niccol
Barry Shabaka Henley
|Music by||John Williams|
|Editing by||Michael Kahn|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Running time||128 minutes|
The Terminal is a 2004 American comedy-drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It is about a man, knowing very few English words, is trapped in a terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport when he is denied entry into the United States and at the same time cannot return to his native country, the fictitious Krakozhia, due to a revolution. The film is partially inspired by the 17-year-stay of Mehran Karimi Nasseri in the Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Terminal I, Paris, France from 1988 to 2006.
Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) arrives at JFK International Airport, but finds that his passport is suddenly not valid, so he is not allowed to enter the United States. While he was en route to the U.S., a revolution was started in his home nation of Krakozhia. Due to the civil war, the United States no longer recognizes Krakozhia as a sovereign nation and denies Viktor's entrance to the U.S. territory. As his passport is unrecognized, he is unable to leave the airport, but he is also unable to be deported back to Krakozhia. Viktor instead lives in the terminal, carrying his luggage and a Planters peanut can.
CBP Head Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) wants Navorski removed from the airport. Navorski collects money for food by retrieving vacant baggage trolleys for the 25-cent reward from the machine, until Dixon prevents this. He then befriends a catering car driver named Enrique Cruz (Diego Luna) who gives him food in exchange for information about Customs and Border Protection officer Dolores Torres (Zoë Saldana), with whom Enrique is in love. With Viktor's help, Enrique and Dolores eventually marry each other. He meets flight attendant Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who asks him out to dinner, but he tries to earn money in order to ask Amelia out instead. He finally gets an off-the-books job as a construction worker at the airport.
Viktor is asked to interpret for a desperate Russian man with drugs without MPLs (Medicinal Purchase License) for his dying father. Viktor claims it is "medicine for goat," barring the drug from confiscation (undocumented drugs, if proved to be for animals, can pass at the U.S. customs) and resolving the crisis. Under pressure and the watchful eye of the Airport Ratings committee, who is evaluating Dixon for an upcoming promotion, Dixon chastises Viktor. Though Dixon is advised that sometimes rules must be ignored, he becomes obsessed with stopping Viktor from making his way into New York.
One day, Dixon pulls Amelia aside to his office and questions whether she really knows Viktor or whether she knows what's in his Planters can. After confronting Viktor in his gate 67 home, he explains to Amelia that the purpose of his visit to New York is to collect an autograph from the tenor saxophonist Benny Golson. The peanut can Viktor carries contains an autographed copy of the "A Great Day in Harlem" photograph. His late father was a jazz enthusiast who had discovered the famous portrait in a Hungarian newspaper in 1958, and vowed to get an autograph of all 57 of the jazz musicians featured on the photograph. He succeeded in obtaining 56, but died before he could get the last one, so Viktor traveled to New York to fulfill his promise to his father that he'd complete the collection. After hearing the story, Amelia kisses Viktor.
After nine months of living in the JFK terminal, Viktor is woken up by Enrique and other friends of his, who inform him that the war in Krakozhia ended, and Amelia reveals that she had asked her 'friend' — actually a married government official with whom she had been having an affair — to assist Viktor in obtaining a one-day emergency visa to travel within the U.S., but Viktor is disappointed to learn she has renewed her relationship with the man during this process. Moreover, Viktor finds out that Dixon needs to sign the one-day emergency visa granting Viktor the right to remain in the United States, but Dixon refuses and tells Viktor to return to Krakozhia, threatening to fire his airport friend Mulroy for having evening poker games with friends and bringing alcohol and marijuana into the airport, have Enrique fired for allowing Viktor into the restricted food preparation area, and deport his other friend Gupta back to India, where he is wanted for assaulting a corrupt police officer back in 1979. Upon hearing this, Viktor agrees to go home. When Gupta learns of this, he runs in front of a plane as it taxies to the terminal, causing the flight to be delayed and removing himself as a reason for Viktor's cooperation with Dixon.
The delay gives Viktor enough time to go into the city and obtain the autograph; assisted by his friends, Viktor then leaves the airport and hails a taxi to go to the Ramada Inn where Benny Golson is performing. He sees Amelia arriving in another cab, and she smiles at him and walks into the terminal. Dixon, watching Viktor leave the airport, decides not to pursue him. Viktor comes to the hotel, where he sees Benny Golson doing a sound check and finally collects the autograph. Then he leaves and hails a taxi, telling the driver, "I am going home."
- Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, the protagonist and a native of the fictional Krakozhia, forced to remain in the airport after his country goes into civil war
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Amelia Warren, a flight attendant whom Viktor develops feelings for
- Stanley Tucci as Frank Dixon, the main antagonist, Viktor's nemesis, and the head of security who is trying to kick Navorski out of the airport
- Chi McBride as Joe Mulroy, a friend of Viktor
- Diego Luna as Enrique Cruz, a luggage sorter who befriends Viktor
- Barry Shabaka Henley as Thurman, head of security
- Kumar Pallana as Gupta Rajan, an Indian janitor in America due to a warrant for his arrest back in India
- Zoë Saldana as Dolores Torres, an immigration officer and Star Trek fan romanced by Enrique through Viktor
- Eddie Jones as Salchak, Dixon's boss
- Jude Ciccolella as Karl Iverson, Viktor's construction supervisor
- Corey Reynolds as Waylin, a security officer
- Guillermo Diaz as Bobby Alima
- Rini Bell as Nadia
- Stephen Mendel as First Class Steward
- Valery Nikolaev as Milodragovich
- Michael Nouri as Max, Amelia's married boyfriend
- Benny Golson as himself
- Scott Adsit as cab driver
Some have noted that the film appears to be inspired by the story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who lived in Terminal One of the Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris from 1988 when his refugee papers were stolen until 2006 when he was hospitalized for unspecified ailments. In September 2003, The New York Times noted that Spielberg bought the rights to Nasseri's life story as the basis for the film; and in September 2004 The Guardian noted Nasseri received thousands of dollars from the filmmakers. However, none of the studio's publicity materials mention Nasseri's story as an inspiration for the film.
Steven Spielberg traveled around the world to find an actual airport that would let him film for the length of the production, but could not find one. The Terminal set was built in a massive hangar at the LA/Palmdale Regional Airport. The hangar, part of the U.S. Air Force Plant 42 complex was used to build the Rockwell International B-1B bomber. The set was built to full earthquake construction codes and was based on the Düsseldorf International Airport. The shape of both the actual terminal and the set viewed sideways is a cross section of an aircraft wing. The design of the set for The Terminal, as noted by Roger Ebert in his reviews and attested by Spielberg himself in a feature by Empire magazine, was greatly inspired by Jacques Tati's classic film Play Time. Hanks based his characterization of Viktor Navorsky on his father-in-law Allan Wilson, a Bulgarian immigrant.
Everything functioned in the set as in real life. There was real food, ice cream and coffee in the appropriate outlets. The escalators were purchased from a department store that had gone bankrupt. Each of the outlets featured in the concourse building was actually sponsored by the real company. Many stores are seen and Viktor seeks a job at the Brookstone, la Perla and Discovery Channel stores, eats at the Burger King, buys his New York City guide book at Borders and buys his suit at Hugo Boss. Enrique proposes to Dolores at Sbarro.
Most exterior shots and those featuring actual aircraft were shot at Montréal–Mirabel International Airport: additional interior shots were also done there including the mezzanine overlooking the immigration desks and the baggage carousels directly behind them, the jetways showing Aéroports de Montréal signs, and many Air Transat planes in the background: New York is not one of their regular destinations. Additional pre-production shooting was done at Los Angeles International Airport and at Spielberg's offices at Amblin. Montreal is also mentioned on the loudspeaker at the beginning of the film, around the point where the customs officer tells Viktor to wait in a special line.
The 747 was provided by United Airlines. The Star Alliance was a major sponsor and provided uniforms, equipment, and actors in addition to those cast. In spite of the heavy presence of the Star Alliance airlines, a Delta Air Lines pilot passes Viktor in a scene during the last five minutes of the film.
|The Terminal: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by John Williams|
|Released||June 15, 2004|
|John Williams chronology|
|The Terminal: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|1.||"The Tale of Viktor Navorski"||4:12|
|2.||"Dinner with Amelia"||8:02|
|3.||"A Legend Is Born"||3:16|
|4.||"Viktor and His Friends"||4:43|
|5.||"The Fountain Scene"||5:33|
|6.||"The Wedding of Officer Torres"||5:01|
|8.||"Refusing to Escape"||3:01|
|9.||"Krakozhia National Anthem and Homesickness"||1:49|
|10.||"Looking for Work"||3:17|
|12.||"Finding Coins and Learning to Read"||4:02|
|13.||""Destiny"... "Canneloni"... and The Tale of Viktor Navorski Reprise"||5:05|
|14.||"A Happy Navorski Ending!"||2:47|
The Terminal received mixed to positive reactions from critics; Rotten Tomatoes reported that 60% of 198 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it got a rating average of 6.2 out of 10. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 55 based on 41 reviews. Michael Wilmington from the Chicago Tribune said "[the film] takes Spielberg into realms he's rarely traveled before." A. O. Scott of The New York Times said Hanks' performance brought a lot to the film. However, Joe Morgenstern from The Wall Street Journal thought that "The Terminal is a terminally fraudulent and all-but-interminable comedy."
The film grossed $77,872,883 in North America and $141,544,372 in other territories, totaling $219,417,255 worldwide.
Krakozhia (Кракозия or Кракожия) is a fictional country, created for the film, that closely resembles a former Soviet Republic. The Krakozhian language is very similar to Bulgarian. From January 16, 2004 to November 2004, the country experienced a civil war. When the war began, the President of the country was held hostage and a new regime installed, leading to Viktor finding his passport and visa useless. Consequently, Viktor must stay in the airport terminal for nine months, as the United States refuses to recognize the new Krakozhian government, after which peace is declared in Krakozhia and he is able to return home.
The exact location of Krakozhia is kept intentionally vague in the film, keeping with the idea of Viktor being simply Eastern European or from a former Soviet Republic. However in one of the scenes, a map of Krakozhia is briefly displayed on one of the airport's television screens during a news report on the ongoing conflict. The country's borders and location are those of the Republic of Macedonia. Throughout the film, it is learned that the Krakozhian language is mutually intelligible with Russian, and that the Krakozhian national anthem is musically close to that of Albania (or the tune of Vajacki marš). Little else is known about Krakozhia, except that there was a lot of fighting which made the international news. The film mentions that rebels have taken the "northern area" of Krakozhia. The cover of the passport that Viktor shows to the customs officer in one of the initial scenes of the film closely resembles a Soviet passport. His driving license is Belarusian, issued in the city of Homel.
The language which Hanks' character speaks in the film, "Krakozhian", is actually slightly-accented literary Bulgarian. Tom Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson, whose father is a Bulgarian, is reported to have coached Hanks in Bulgarian in the course of the shooting of the film. In the same line the name of Viktor's father is Dimitar Asenov Navorski, shaped after the Bulgarian three-section pattern and contains one name popular among contemporary Bulgarians—Dimitar (Димитър). The patronymic Asenov derives from one Bulgarian medieval dynasty and was borne by several Bulgarian Tsars, Ivan Asen II for example.
See also 
- Mehran Karimi Nasseri
- Stateless person
- Hiroshi Nohara
- Zahra Kamalfar
- Sanjay Shah
- List of people who have lived at airports
- The Terminal at Box Office Mojo
- Ethan Gilsdorf, Behind 'The Terminal,' a true story, The Christian Science Monitor, June 21, 2004, Accessed December 5, 2010.
- Life in the lounge, BBC
- Matthew Rose, Waiting For Spielberg, The New York Times, September 21, 2003, Accessed June 12, 2008.
- Berczeller, Paul (September 6, 2004). "The man who lost his past". The Guardian. Retrieved May 5, 2007.
- "The Terminal (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- "The Terminal reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- Movie review: 'The Terminal'. Retrieved on July 1, 2008.
- Movie review: The Terminal, by The New York Times Retrieved on July 1, 2008.
- Review summary from the Wall Street Journal Retrieved on July 1, 2008.
- Young-Scholten, Martha. "Hollywood: smarter than you think? Maybe". Retrieved December 25, 2007. Abstract for talk given at the University of Leeds Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, 26 April 2006.
- The Terminal soundtrack review at Filmtracks.com
- Official website
- The Terminal at the Internet Movie Database
- The Terminal at AllRovi
- The Terminal at Box Office Mojo
- The Terminal at Rotten Tomatoes