Ellie Arroway (Foster) lost her more very early on and she looses her father one night while they were stargazing. This shakes all her faith. As a young woman many years later she is an astronomer who has been continually looking to the stars. With no faith, she lives her life around science, then one day at the VLA in New Mexico she discovers a message being sent down to earth. First contact is made! The message is soon decoded and plans are made to build a device that may send someone up to meet them. The world however is divided, should we believe in science or should we keep our faith and ignore the contact. The machine is made and Ellie takes a ride, what happens then is a game changer for her.
I have always liked and enjoyed this film, I have seen it now many times. A lot of folks can’t make up their minds as to whether this is a spiritual film or just a Sci-Fi. I would say its a bit of both. The story was a great one, written and overseen by Carl Sagan (who sadly passed away during the filming of this), he wanted the film to be as scientifically accurate as possible.
The idea that a race more intelligent that us would want to meets on their terms seems much more likely that just dropping in on us. I think certain parts of the alien encounter may be borrowed from other books such as the worm hole theory, as a travel device, many books from the fifties and sixties use this premise and even tv today (Stargate!) With that said it does not diminish my view of this film. The acting by everyone involved was fantastic and the CGI (for the mid nineties) was impressive.
The faith part of this story was interesting as well. Like her father and Mathew’s character said,if it’s just us then it’s an awful waste of space. I am a person who believes but I would love to see some proof. When you think about it though there is proof all around us. Think about it, we are part of a universe that is infinite, that word alone should scare you, there is no end or no beginning! We have been taught that that is impossible. So if there is an end, what is behind that and so on, you will drive yourself to the funny farm thinking about that. I am rambling though, so much for the lesson today…
This is a film that will be popular for a long time and well worth putting in the ‘Watch Again’ shelf. Great stuff.