For Those Who Wait

Have you ever seen an Airport? The Terminal is a 2004 American comedy-drama film that was released on June 15, 2004 and it was directed by Steven Spielberg   and written by Andrew Niccol.  Throughout the film, Viktor Navorski shows how he copes with waiting in the airport terminal. Furthermore, we see how other people treat Viktor and how they each cope with waiting. Viktor finds himself in many difficult situations and he experiences many trials and tribulations throughout his journey.  I believe that the underlying message of this film was that as human beings, we don’t wait, we rush, and we never have enough time to do all of the things that we want to do. Moreover, we selfishly do things that benefit ourselves rather than performing good deeds that ultimately help others.  Viktor was a very patient, kind and helpful man and he portrays the type of man that  God would want all of us to be.

Tom Hank plays the character, Viktor, and he is a man who, was kind caring person who would do anything for his family,but Dixon didn’t turn out to be the man Viktor thought he was.  During his stay, he is faced with numerous challenges but because of his patience, good nature, resourcefulness and optimism he perseveres and by the end of the film he is allowed to go back to his own country but only after he obtains, for his Dad,  Benny Golson’s signature. The film starts off with Viktor going through security and his passport gets denied.  He was considered an IBIS hit because his Visa was no longer valid, his country was under a Military Coup, he could not enter the USA and he could not go back home to Krakozhia.  Frank Dixon, the Director of Customs and Border Protection at the JFK Airport, took Viktor to the transit lounge and he gave him a pager, numerous food vouchers and a $10 pre-paid calling card.  At this point in time, Viktor could have been totally devastated, however, he chose to adapt to the environment by translating Bulgarian into English, and his determination was admirable because he had to learn a new language which was understandably difficult to do. In other words, Viktor could have felt sorry for himself, however, he chose to learn a new language so that he could relate and communicate with the other people in the transit lounge.  Furthermore, Viktor could have felt totally destroyed because he had no useable money, his country was under attack and he was unable to go back home. Surprisingly, Viktor never felt sorry for himself and he found other ways to overcome his challenges.  To earn money for food, he collected unreturned carts and he got a job on a construction site.  Shockingly enough because of his resourcefulness he started off as a man in need of food and in the end he became the man who left food for others.  He truly was a Good Samaritan.  Also, at the beginning of this ordeal Vitor was alone and he had no friends.  As the movie went on, he showed one of the cardinal virtues of chivalry, which would be courtesy and obedience to women; Vitor helped a teenager with her luggage and he helped a lady named Amelia with her broken high heels.  All of Viktor’s traits were very admirable and because of his positive attitude and willingness to adjust, he did everything he could to make the best of a real bad situation. God would have been proud of Viktor because he coped very well with all of the challenges he faced!

Unlike Viktor, there were several other characters in the movie that did not cope well with waiting Frank, Gupta, Amelia,Enrique all had the same problem  Dixon’s character was portrayed as someone who did not cope well with waiting because he could not wait to get his bosses job.  He was impatient, pessimistic and unable to cope with the fact that he would have to wait for his boss to retire before he would have the opportunity to become the new boss.  His absences of patience made him mean and uncaring. Frank was very stereotypical of Chinese people and he enjoyed taunting Viktor because he knew he didn’t understand. Furthermore, Dixon treated Viktor as an inconvenience and he could not wait to ditch Viktor in the Transit Lounge.   Amelia Warren too was a very impatient person.  She always had to be in a relationship and she was never happy with just one man; she had to have many.  Viktor, on the other hand, was very patient and he was more than happy to wait for Amelia.  When he first met her, she told him that she had to go on another trip and Viktor said that he would wait right there for her.  That’s how love affected Viktor; he would have done anything for her.  Enrique Cruz also lacked the trait of patience.   He wanted Viktor to ask Dolores Torres questions but he could not wait to hear the answers.  Finally, the last character who did not like waiting was Gupta Rajan.  Gupta was the janitor and when Viktor’s food vouchers fell on the floor (when he was helping a lady with her suitcase) he did not wait for Viktor to pick them up himself.  Gupta gathered them up and rather than handing them back to Viktor, he kept them and asked Viktor if he had an appointment to look through his garbage? Viktor said no and Gupta’s response was “see you next Tuesday”. I think that Gupta was trying to get rid of Viktor and he hoped to never see him again. Gupta felt that no one in their right mind would stay or come back to an airport terminal just to pick up food vouchers. Realistically, Tuesday was a week away and no one would stick around for that length of time. Furthermore, Gupta was a very impulsive and impatient because he shanked a police officer in India and to avoid persecution he fled to the USA so that he would not have to spend 7 years in prison for his criminal action.

Viktor was the type of person who was willing to help anyone and because of his patient nature he dealt with each situation as it happened.  Viktor made a point of interacting with the other people in the Transit Lounge but he showed very little emotional reaction to the events that occurred.  At the beginning of the film,  no one would assist him because they were all too busy. Most of them felt that they did not have time to waste and they were more concerned about their own well-being.   I can’t really relate to how Viktor felt when no one would help him but I think that there are a lot of similarities between him and a hitch hiker.  Most motorists are reluctant to give hitch hikers a ride because they don’t know them and sometimes the hitch hikers themselves are hesitant to get in the vehicle because they don’t know the motorists.  This was the situation with Viktor.  People did not know Viktor so they were more reluctant to help him. In most situations, do people help those in need?  Not always.  In this film, Viktor is forced to wait and see what happens in the terminal because his options were limited.  Today very few people have Viktor’s patience, however, I believe that patience is a virtue and that good things do come to those who wait!

Viktor was a man who had the patience of a saint.  He was patient, good-natured, resourceful and realistic and because of these qualities he made the best of a potentially devastating situation.  Unlike Viktor, Frank, Amelia, Enrique and Gupta were all characters who did not have the patience to wait.  In today’s society,  I believe that the majority of people are impatient and that very few are as good-natured as Viktor.  In all films, there is always an underlying message and in this movie, I believe that the underlying message is that good things come to those who wait.



Navorski  gets turned down when he asks for help.


Viktor  gathering carts trying to earn a few dollars to purchase food.