For this essay I have chosen to relate the movie “The Terminal” to the sociological perspective called symbolic interactionism. "The Terminal," directed by Steven Spielberg is a fiction film about a person from a country called Krakozhia, who is coming to the United States of America as a tourist. During the flight from his hometown located in eastern Europeto New York City, a political problem including a war, causes his country not to be recognized by the International forums, this makes Viktor Navorsky (Tom Hanks) a man without a country, that is the only reason why as soon as Navorsky lands in New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Migration Police Department denies him the access into America.
The police officers want tosend him back to Krakozhia, but this option is not valid either since the American government believes it is too dangerous for the passenger to leave the country during the war and political issues Krakozhia is experiencing.
The only place Viktor Navorsky can stay until the problem in his country is solved, is the International lounge, therefore he becomes a JFK Terminal resident. He will haveseveral problems since he speaks no english at all and do not know the American culture.
It is in the Terminal of JFK where almost the entire movie takes place. Viktor lives in the airport for a long period of time, as a result he starts meeting and interacting with new people who go to the terminal frequently, such as airport stores’ workers, police officers, security guards, airport crew, airplanepilots and flight attendants.
According to the symbolic interactionism, society is produced through interactions with each other by means of language and the interpretation of that language. This is exactly what Mr. Navorsky does not know, he doesn't speak or understand any English, and this makes very difficult for anybody in New York to communicate with him. During the movie herealizes, that learning the language was one of the most important things that will contribute him to socialize and interact with the rest of the people in the terminal, that is why he learns english. At the beginning he would not understand a word said in english, and the more he knows the language, the more friends he gets. I will emphasize in Viktor Navorsky's interactions with three specific peoplethroughout the film.
The relationship between Viktor and Gupta, an old guy from India working for the airport's maintenance, starts in a very odd way. The first time they both interact, Gupta notices that Viktor didn't speak english at all, so when speaking to his friends, Gupta has a huge prejudism against Viktor just because the language, Gupta believes Viktor is a CIA officer, justbecause he saw a guy from Russia worked for CIA a couple of years ago. When Navorsky gets better at speaking english and he can finally have a great communication with Gupta, they become very good friends and Gupta understands all the talking problems were just part of Viktor's culture. They become very confident, at the end of the movie, Gupta decides it is better to be deported and leave his friendViktor to enter the United States to accomplish his dream.
Enrique Cruz is a Mexican person who works in the airport as a driver and cleaning crew. The interaction between Enrique and Navorsky begins when Cruz realizes that the guy from Krakozhia has a close relation with the police officer that the mexican has a crush on. Enrique know that Viktor needs food, so they make an arragement inwhich Enrique provides a meal while Navorsky gives him as most information as he can about the latin police officer.
Enrique thinks it will work because as long as he has seen through his life in the hispanic interactions, all the girls like when the guy pretends to be cute and nice to them. Thanks to the interactions Viktor had with the police, they end married at the end of the film...