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July 24, 2004

The Terminal

Once again, Tom Hanks shows his ability to immerse himself in a role in a believable way. The character of Viktor Navorski could have been played broadly for laughs, playing up the stereotype of a foreigner coming to America for the first time. (Think of the characters in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, or Jim Carrey or Will Ferrell in anything.) The Terminal still would have been funny and commercially successful. However, after suspending your disbelief on the overall situation (which is, in fact, loosely based on a real situation in Paris), Hanks's portrayal of someone stranded in a foreign country is very true-to-life and fascinating.

This is one of the keys to Hanks's success -- his characters have the touch of the common man, to which we all can relate. Viktor Navorski could be any one of us, under similiar circumstances, or perhaps I should say Navorksi is the person we would like to be, if thrown into the same environment.

Posted by Isaac at July 24, 2004 1:25 PM