Friday, June 26, 2015


Movie Name: Contact
Year of Release: 1997
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, David Morse, Jena Malone, James Woods, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe, Haynes Brooke, Jake Busey
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Following the critical and commercial success that was "Forrest Gump", director Robert Zemeckis returned with an adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel "Contact". The film originally developed by director George Miller, focuses on the story of Dr. Ellie Arroway, an astronomer, who after years of looking for extra-terrestrial intelligence, finally has a chance for contact when her team starts receiving messages from space. Ellie's work is quickly taken over by powerful forces in government, who want to understand how to handle this amazing development. This escalates even further when the message received is decoded as instructions to build a device that functions as a portal. After much endurance and obstacles it's up to Ellie to go through this trip, and gain insight into this new dimension.
Robert Zemeckis has built a career around characters that are traditionally anti-heroes, characters that find themselves in situations that are unfamiliar, and yet through sheer resourcefulness and intelligence, overcome obstacles. That was the case of "Forrest Gump", "Romancing the Stone", "Back to the Future" or even the more recent "Flight". These flawed heroes, somehow a bit damaged,  shine an extra dimension and highlight a depth which allows the viewers to relate to these characters instantly. "Contact" is a very smart adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, providing both an exploratory backdrop, in which the presentation of the sci-fi angle is expanded through the receiving of extra-terrestrial messages, through the process of building the vessel, and on the other hand, it has a more humane counter-point, with Ellie's childhood and relationship with her father, and now as a woman, her relationship with the pastor Palmer Joss (though this relationship is the least engaging component of the film). The director also smartly focuses his attention on Jodie Foster, who as usual, is luminous and radiates intelligence, and a fierce individuality, making her character simply unforgettable. This is a fantastic film always worth revisiting.