Jul 23, 2011

Contact, 1997

Contact, 1997
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConnaughey, Tom Skerrit

Stage: Home TV selection

Contact in short:
Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin...

Preps: Nothing special, as I have already seen the piece and loved it.

Reality: Contact is one of Zemecki's greater works. The strong cast supports the ever lasting theme that is truly popular at any given moment. Now, 1997 was the time when those movies had some kind of romantic perspective and weren't made in a hard way, as we know them now. It is for a fact that ever since ET it has been hard to make an "ET"-like movie that would match Spielberg from a far distance. Well, this is one of the more successful attempts. Foster, playing a dedicated scientist, and McConnaughey, playing the political role inside this.

For what it's worth - this is more a movie about the politics than the movie about ET's. Which could be a good point, since we all want to have an insight into the dirty games the government is playing and the happenings behind the scenes. Here you are dragged right into the snakes pit and bit by lions that are drulling around someone else's work. In this case, Jodie Foster plays the role of a scientist that got f.. with. And was supposed to be left behind. Because of the nature of the character she's playing, she makes sure she's not left behind and turns herself into the role of the spectator. Not being able to influence much, but being able to see the happening behind the scenes. Like a narrator of some kind, or a hidden spectator. Take it as you will.

Now, what is the signal she received - we cannot tell and for sure are having fun while the people in the Nasa, institutions that are dedicated to extraterrestrials, are trying to figure out. With some tips from an outsourced intelligence, Jodie Foster comes up with a key to the riddle and makes things even more complicated.

As said, the movie is more a political movie, making a point about the ways the government works and the games they are playing in the real life field. All the extra terrestrial is placed in our minds as something good and positive. Not to forget, we aren't aware of what we have as neighbours and sometimes, snakes pits should be left alone.

No real revelations in this movie. However, a true perspective of the problem most of the individually driven scientists are facing nowadays. And the lack of respect for their work. Like in parliaments, also the forces here are divided by cash and influence someone has in government.

My personal rate: 7,5 (a good and solid political piece, with a distinction towards optimistical view of the extra terrestrials).

Contact on IMDB

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