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São Paulo, September 16, 2004


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Brazil Release: The Terminal

By Ed Walker
The Terminal due for release in Brazil on 9 September, is a new comedy from director Steven Spielberg which stars Tom Hanks. The film is set entirely in JFK New York City‘s international airport.

Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) arrives at JFK, just as his small Eastern European country, Krakozhia, undergoes a coup. Department of Homeland Security official Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci) informs the uncomprehending visitor that 'America is Closed' as his passport and visa are invalid and explains to Navorski that until he regains a recognized homeland he must not leave The Terminal.

After being unceremoniously dumped in the terminal with a handful of food vouchers, Viktor begins to realize his predicament when he sees the situation in Krakozhia broadcast on the TV monitors. No one understands his pleas for interpretation nor will anyone help him figure out the English language phone card given to him.

Over the next 9 months he is forced to acclimatise to his new environment. Amoungst other things he scurries about returning baggage carts for quarters, procures an airport construction job and even assists as an interpreter. A potential love interest Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is dropped into the story for good measure. She plays a flight attendant having an affair with a married man but finds herself drawn to Viktor.

The plot is scarcely believable, although it is said to be based on the true story of an Iranian national who was stranded at Charles de Galle Airport, Paris in 1988. Hanks performance, which has much in common with his role in Castaway, is the key to this film's success, and unless you believe and like his character as the film flows along, you‘re not likely to appreciate it much. The Terminal makes its audience suffer one too many layovers, but Hanks and Spielberg‘s technical crew keep it aloft.


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