This movie is not for those who hate to think during a movie. It's about Jodie Foster who has grown up not knowing her mother who died when giving birth to her, then losing her father at about ten years old. However it was not before he had introduced her to science, astronomy and a radio. This loneliness she has experienced and her love of contacting people over the radio motivate her to contact the little green men.
She goes to one of the biggest radio receivers in New Mexico to carry out research. It is here that she does the job she started when she was young. She meets her male co-star Matthew (A Time to kill) and love interest here only to find they have conflicting views; he believes in God, while she believes only in science. From here on it has continual philosophical debates of science vs religion.
Then her funding is cut and she goes out to get some more introducing an enigmatic benefactor who mysteriously helps her throughout the film.
Her new funding is eventually running out and still she has found no sign of any intelligent life in outer space. Until one day a signal from a previously researched system called Vega does a message appear. The scientists record prime numbers being sent to them then eventually a television signal. However what they see concerns them, a broadcast of Hitler. Is it what the alien life has learnt about them or is it just the first mesage they have received? They choose the latter and the White House is informed. Hidden within the TV message is digital blue prints when eventually encoded in three dimensional are plans for a machine.
They then have to debate whether or not to build it. Is it a weapon or a ship or something else. Meanwhile Foster is up against an old colleague who is stealing all the credit for her discoveries, and looks set to be a candidate for the newly researched transportation device. Foster comes runner-up to be Earth's representative as she does not represent 95% of the population in religion. However the machine is blown up by a cult leader and all hopes are dashed.
Here's the conspiracy bit- the USA has secretly built another machine and Foster gets to use it. The special effects for this sequence is brilliant as she cuts through time and space.
However it is when she returns less than a minute later she has to prove that she was on an alien planet for 18 hours. With no proof but with the feelings of loneliness lifted she has only faith telling her it wasn't a dream.
The ending is left open to the audience as to whether or not we believe Foster's story or the Government's version.
The part at the end where we see a cover up for reasons left up to us is thought provoking. Foster's head piece recorded no evidence but 18 hours of static!
A well thought out film that will keep you asking questions- is there life out there and have we or they already made contact?
The review of this Movie prepared by H Louise
Based on a story by Ann Dryan and a subsequent novel by her husband Carl Sagan (who died of bone cancer during production), "Contact" is the over-earnest story of Eleanor Arroway, a radio astronomer who devotes her life to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. One day her team picks up a likely signal, and eventually decodes a message that includes engineering plans for a gigantic machine whose purpose is a mystery. Battled by her boss and rival David Drumlin (Skerritt) and government operative Michael Kitz (Woods), but backed by multimillionaire S.R. Hadden (Hurt), Arroway manages to get the machine built -- twice -- and climbs aboard to see where it might take her: to death, invasion by aliens, or the next step in human evolution? McConaughey plays a weak role as a New Age theorist/author and love interest, and there are tons of cameos by real folks, from Larry King and Geraldo Rivera to Jay Leno and Geraldine Ferraro. News footage of President Clinton is skillfully interweaved, as in director Robert Zemeckis's previous feature, "Forrest Gump." The film drags at 153 minutes, but visuals are engaging (from a 1997 version of Bowman's psychedelic space voyage in "2001" to location shots at Arecibo, the Very Large Array, the Mojave, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park standing in for the ocean off Hokkaido), and Foster gives the lead her admirable all -- from rage and terror to utter awe.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus