The Terminal by Steven Spielberg

From: Marker
Category: Films
Date: 05 October 2004


Terminal. Dull sentimental rubbish about Tom Hanks stuck in airport. About the level of an afternoon kids caper comedy, without the laughs. Lets be clear, Spielbum is a bad film maker. His serious stuff, Schindler, P. Ryan etc, is destroyed by its crass schmaltziness and sickening focus on non-representative stories, and his entertainments suffer from, you guessed it, the same problem, the big s word, sentimentality. Now you may say, what's the problem with sentimentality, it can be something good to manipulate the audience's feelings. But Spielbergs problem is that he sentimentalises relationships, situations, sex, love, so much that the viewer is repulsed by the unreal and childish pictures he paints of humanity.

Anyway, the terminal, based on a true story (which of course happened in Paris but must be transplanted to New York for this crap) of a stateless man unable to leave the departures lounge of an airport could have been a kafkaesque fable exposing the nightmare of airports, cheap immigrant labour, and the cruel chance of the modern state. No, instead, the material, the gold of truth, got transformed into shit by the magic of Spielbergs monthematic imagination.