Wednesday, June 22, 2005


"For as long as I can remember, I've been searching for some reason why we're here -- what are we doing here, who are we? If this is a chance to find out even just a little part of that answer, I think it's worth a human life, don't you?"

Ellie Arroway

Today I watched Contact again, for the second time. I don't remember when I watched it for the first time, perhaps 5 years ago. Eventhough I knew the plot so well, I still enjoyed watching it.

Contact is a movie, made in 1997, that tells about a scientific attempt to investigate life beyond the earth. I really think it is a very good (or even great) movie, which offers an inspiring close encounter with the ineffable mystery that lies at the heart of each individual and at the core of the majestic universe.

Things in Holywood sci-fi movies that usually really bother me are some cop-outs that film makers usually put in order to lower the intelligence level of the script. However, this is not the case of Contact. I, in fact, am impressed of its technical accuracy. Time-space concepts used in this movie, for example, are accurate enough to me, at least based on what I have learned. The movie is believable partly because it does not try to replace true science with vague terms and gobbledygook. Robert Zemeckis's (the producer) persistence to really follow Carl Sagan, the writer of the novel this movie is based on, really helps this. Sagan is famous of being so accurate, details, and empirical in crafting his stories.

The best star in this movie is of course Jodie Foster (as Ellie Arroway) who, as always, plays very well. She is one of my favorite actresses. She plays brilliantly, almost convinces me that she really is a great scientist.

While it rightfully being classified as the story of humanity's first encounter with an extraterrestrial life form, at its heart, Contact is really more about a human being (Ellie Arroway) and a question for meaning in life. The questions Ellie poses (as quoted above) are really the core of this movie and, for me at least, the core of human's life. Her trajectory places Elly on a certain pathway with answers to these questions. From the nexus of this trajectory, her character development, and the resolution of this particular aspect of the story, a satisfying conclusion emerges. In the end, the science fiction elements become subordinate to the personal ones.

For those who desire both emotional and intellectual stimulations at the same time, Contact should definitely be in your menu.


yulian firdaus said...

gue nonton di bioskop dulu, dan ditonton berkali-kali dari vcd, divx sampe dvd

jodie foster emang oke!

Andrew said...

Great sci-fi movie, one of the best. The process of learning and understanding.. amazing, and in the end.. the blank record (3 hours of blank record?? Isn't it?)

merlyna lim said...

it's actually 18 hours of static record.

Andrew said...

Ah.. 18 hours of 'static' record. 6X more than what I thought. Jadi malu.. :p (dulu nggak tahu sekarang lupa..)

Dave said...

My wife & I saw Contact at a "sneak preview" a week before it officially opened, and we were THRILLED with every aspect of it -- its realism, detail, science, and of course Jodie Foster's outstanding performance. She made it personal.