15th October 2017

Reading response #5

  • Title: The terminal
  • Text type: Movie
  • Director: Steven Spielberg

The terminal is a comedy about a man called Viktor Navorski from a foreign country who flies to New York. Viktors plans fail when a violent coup breaks out in his home country, he somehow “slips through a small crack in the system” and finds himself on the wrong end of a technicality. His passport was issued from his home country which ceased to exist in an official capacity during its upheaval. Unauthorized to leave Kennedy airport and unable to return home, Viktor finds himself stuck in the international terminal’s transit lounge. Viktor was initially unable to speak or understand any English, this made it very hard for him to talk to people or make friends. The movie made me realise how hard it is for people from foreign places to fit in and communicate. English is used dominantly around the world, therefore I generally don’t have a problem with communication or being understood, and often forget how hard it must be for those who do. At my school, there are many foreign exchange students and the movie gave me a greater respect for them, once I realised how scary it must be to live alone in a foreign country (like Viktor).

Despite the communication gap, Viktor made great friends who immensely respected him and he even sparked a brief romance with a regular flight attendant. He made such great friends within the airport that when his country’s conflict was announced over and he was able to return home he found it hard to leave the family he had established. The movie takes us through Viktors daily struggles and successes, from finding enough food to rebuilding a terminal on his own and landing a building contract within the airport. This event was significant for Viktor and gave him a sense of self-sufficiency and independence much like in the novel “My Side Of The Mountian”. Viktor is similar to Sam Gribbly in many ways, both characters thrive off independence, self-sufficiency, and love building and making things. Viktor made a bad situation into a positive one, and I think this is something we can all take from the movie. The reality is that the world is harsh and we are destined to encounter similar situations to Viktor in our lives, if we adopt the same mindset and optimism we can get through them and gain from the experience in the end, Viktor learned new skills, such as building, tiling, fluent English, and his character development showed growth and prosperity.

I can relate to the movie on a more personal level, I experienced many of the same situations as Viktor encountered when I traveled alone. Like Viktor, I experience the initial wave or worry and loneliness but then overcame them to a greater independence. Viktor knew it was not the end of the world and that everything will work out ok in the end, I achieved this mindset throughout my travels and it brought attention to the bigger picture and opened my mind, instead of worrying I could enjoy the experience and explore my independence, a lot like Viktor.

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About Fiona

Born in Christchurch, One of New Zealand's children, dweller of the south island, I enjoy being called Fi, thanks. Spelling needs work. Yep. Nice.