Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steven Spielberg|
|Produced by||Steven Spielberg
Walter F. Parkes
|Screenplay by||Sacha Gervasi
|Story by||Andrew Niccol
|Music by||John Williams|
|Edited by||Michael Kahn|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
The Terminal is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It is about a man who becomes trapped in New York City's JFK International Airport terminal when he is denied entry into the United States and at the same time cannot return to his native country due to a revolution. The film is partially inspired by the 18-year-stay of Mehran Karimi Nasseri in Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Paris, France from 1988 to 2006.
Krakozhian traveler Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) arrives at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, only to find that his passport is suddenly no longer valid due to the outbreak of a civil war in Krakozhia, his homeland. As a result, the United States no longer recognizes Krakozhia as a sovereign nation, and he is not permitted to either enter the country or return home as he is now stateless. Due to his inability to communicate in proper English, US Customs and Border Protection seizes his passport and airline ticket.
With no other choice, he settles in at the terminal with only his luggage and a peanut can, much to the frustration of Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), the senior US Customs official for the airport. Dixon is being considered for a promotion and becomes obsessed with getting rid of Viktor. Meanwhile, Viktor befriends and helps airport employees and travelers. Among them, a flight attendant named Amelia Warren (Catherine Zeta-Jones), whom he sees periodically and tries to woo, presenting himself as a building contractor who is frequently traveling. Viktor had been hired by an airport contractor and paid under the table after he impulsively remodeled a wall at a gate that was scheduled for future renovation.
One day, Dixon pulls Amelia aside and questions whether she knows Viktor's true situation or what is in his peanut can. Amelia confronts Viktor at his makeshift home, where he shows her that the peanut can contains a 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 collect the autographs of all 57 of the jazz musicians featured on it. He died before he could get the last one, from tenor saxophonist Benny Golson. Viktor has come to New York to do so. After hearing the story, Amelia kisses Viktor.
After nine months, his friends wake Viktor with the news that the war in Krakozhia has ended. Amelia also asked her "friend"—actually a married government official with whom she had been having an affair—to get Viktor a one-day emergency visa to fulfill his dream, but Viktor is disappointed to learn she has renewed her relationship with the man during this process. Moreover, Viktor finds out that Dixon must sign the visa. Seizing the opportunity, Dixon threatens to cause trouble for Viktor's friends, most seriously by deporting Gupta back to India, where he is wanted for assaulting a corrupt police officer back in 1979. Unwilling to let this happen, Viktor finally agrees to go home to Krakozhia. When Gupta learns of this, however, he runs in front of the plane to Krakozhia as it taxies to the terminal, resulting in his deportation, effectively taking the burden off Viktor.
The delay gives Viktor enough time to go into the city. Dixon, watching Viktor leave the airport, decides not to pursue him. Viktor arrives in New York at the hotel where Benny Golson is performing and finally collects the last autograph. Then he gets in a taxi, telling the driver, "I am going home."
- Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, a Krakozhian immigrant living in JFK airport terminal.
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Amelia Warren, flight attendant
- Stanley Tucci as Frank Dixon, Director of Customs and Border Protection at JFK
- Chi McBride as Joe Mulroy, cargo handler and a friend of Viktor
- Diego Luna as Enrique Cruz, food service and a friend of Viktor
- Barry Shabaka Henley as Thurman, assistant to Dixon
- Kumar Pallana as Gupta Rajan, janitor and friend of Viktor hiding in America to avoid an arrest back in India
- Zoë Saldana as Dolores Torres, an immigration officer and Star Trek fan romanced by Enrique through Viktor
- Eddie Jones as Richard 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 DreamWorks. 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 clarinet piece, "Viktor's Tale", also composed by John Williams, is taken from the movie's soundtrack.
The Terminal received mixed reactions from critics; Rotten Tomatoes reported that 61% 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.
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. It mentions that the country's president has been kidnapped and the vice president has been killed along with 13 cabinet ministers and 16 wounded soldiers. The name of president is mentioned 3 times in the movie. The first and third mentioning is President Baglabov. This mentioned on the news on the TVs when the war starts and when peace is accomplished. The first name of President Baglabov is mentioned only once on small letters on the news when war breaks out. His name is mentioned as Josef Baglabov. No other Krakozhian politician's name is mentioned. 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 (mentioned in one news broadcast to be Right Wing) 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, including Ivan Asen II.
- 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
- The Terminal at the Internet Movie Database
- The Terminal at AllMovie
- The Terminal at Box Office Mojo
- The Terminal at Rotten Tomatoes