There comes a time in a young boy’s life when they just have to sit down and watch a film that has defined an entire generation’s love for science fiction. The oldest people consider Star Trek as the series that defined their generation, being the very first science fiction series that brought in characters that you could remember just by their design.
Then there are those that think Star Wars did it best, while others think that it was Ridley Scott’s Alien that pushed the envelope. There are also the hardcore cinema buffs that think Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey was the one. However, there’s a small population that still to this day believes that E.T the Extra-Terrestrial was the one film that created a whole generation of science fiction lovers. Why this film is loved so much? Well, let us tell you all about it.
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The Movie Review
E.T the Extra-Terrestrial is one of those films that put a child as the main character to tell a story that has levels of maturity you wouldn’t expect. The story shows an alien who is left behind on Earth during an expedition with its kind. This alien isn’t in any sort of trouble yet though, as it is saved by a young boy named Elliot who decides to protect this alien and keep him hidden from everyone for his own safety until it can return back home.
However, there is a special task force that has been ordered to search for and eventually hunt it down for Extra-Terrestrial testing. What they don’t know about is that Elliot and his siblings have formed an emotional bond with this creature, and now they will do anything to protect it from getting into the hands of this aggressive task force of researchers.
Directed by none other than the great Steven Spielberg, who has dipped his hands into every kind of film genre that exists; Spielberg masterfully crafts the film as a children’s movie during its first half. The film follows some patterns you would expect from a children’s film, such as funny characters and soft-spoken dialogue along with some scenes of kids being mischievous.
However, once the task force comes onto the screen; it turns into somewhat of an intense thriller where you’re constantly sympathizing with E.T (this is the alien’s name) as Elliot and his siblings do their absolute best to keep E.T safe.
The film’s visuals for the time are somewhat unexplainable; the creature in the film looks completely life-like and is for sure not computer-generated graphics. However, the design team had created it so beautifully that you can’t tell whether this is a robotic creature, an organic alien, or just a puppet.
This illusion that makes E.T look so real is what reels us in as viewers, and the fact that there’s only a child that wants to help E.T. is what melts our hearts. It focuses on the cruelty of humanity against everything we find different from ourselves. It builds up tension for the entirety of its runtime until the very climax, where you just cannot hold your emotions in anymore.
So while E.T might seem like a film that is made for children, it quite certainly is also made for adult audiences. This is a film that breaks the barrier and speaks directly to the audience towards being kind, patient, and appreciative of others no matter how different they are to us. Every single living being is different, and everyone has their own sense of humanity within them. Spielberg’s craft helped him create a narrative where a child can see the goodness in a being that is different from us, just like it is in real life.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, all the praise for E.T the Extra-Terrestrial is valid. While other science fiction films and narratives at the time were aiming to provide us with content that would entertain us or showcase new worlds to us. E.T the Extra-Terrestrial is a generation-defining film that doesn’t just entertain us, but also provides us with a sense of self-reflection on the things we should be doing.