Melodrama is a genre of films that’s very popular all around the world, whether it’s in soap operas or TV shows, or just as genre films overall. Melodramatic films are always going to catch the public eye, unless they’re a bit too corny. In most cases, these films resonate with the public due to their extreme focus on emotional moments. It’s a globally recognised genre, it’s part of the reason why The Terminal by Steven Spielberg is such a popular film.
It’s a film that misses a lot of marks, yet it is so emotionally resonant that it manages to be one of the most popular films that the director has ever made.
How to Stream or Download The Terminal
To stream or to download the film from a digital store, click on the Download button that is located below this review. If you like Steven Spielberg’s movies, check out also our reviews of Jaws (1975) or Ready Player One (2018). If you like Tom Hanks, check him out in The Green Mile (1999), Sully (2016) or News of the World (2020). For Catherine Zeta-Jones’s fans we recommend Ocean’s Twelve (2004).
The Movie Review
The story of The Terminal is loosely based on a real life event, in which an Iranian refugee was forced to sit at an airport terminal for 18 years. This is the tale of Viktor Navorski, a young man from the fictional nation of Karkozhia. Viktor arrives at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York City, and as it turns out his passport is invalid. Viktor is banned from entering the country, as well as from returning back to his own country in plight of civil wars.
He’s ordered to stay in the Transit Lounge at the Airport terminal until the issue is resolved. Though, it’s not that simply resolved, and results in Viktor spending a bit too much time at the airport, making it his home.
Right off the bat, this story is based on true events. It was a real person named Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who was made to live inside of an airport from 1988 to 2006. However, Spielberg took this as an opportunity to make it a fun and entertaining story with humour, heart and a ton of emotions.
The thing that bothers me about it is the race swap, it was a bit unnecessary I guess they just really wanted Tom Hanks in the film, so they had to make the protagonist a white guy instead of Middle Eastern like Mehran actually was.
The script is insanely funny, with some extremely heart breaking moments sprinkled in with it. The one aspect of this film that I actually appreciate more than most, is the melodrama. Most of the time I find that particular aspect in films very corny, yet somehow in the terminal, Steven Spielberg has made it work beyond wonders.
I kept finding myself laughing in the film, yet there were moments that almost turned me teary eyed. It’s a testament to Steven Spielberg versatility as a director, that he’s actually managed to bring tears to my eyes while making a film that is melodramatic.
The cinematography within this film wasn’t something I would consider exceptional, yet there was something odd about it that almost always kept me on my toes. In a way, the shots in this film and the colour grading, highlighted the way I was feeling throughout the film.
The use of Browns and greys as well as the odd and occasional colour palette switches to yellow and pinkish tones, was signifying the ever changing mood of the film. I highly enjoyed the way this film used colours, whether it was the colour of a victors hair, or the colour of his briefcase, as well as the way the characters dressed.
They were also vividly showcased, it’s something you usually don’t notice in films but in this one, you really do.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Steven Spielberg produced and directed one of the most unlikely films that I never thought I would like. Sure I did have an issue with it, the fact that they race swapped the main character and told a story that was someone else’s. Yet in hindsight, this is still a film that I personally ended up enjoying.
Every single moment of this film was either funny, or goofy, and if it wasn’t funny, then it was a moment that made me cry.