Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, ... Written by
The movie establishes that the signal was launched from planet Earth in 1936, during the Berlin Olympic Games' opening. Since Vega is 26 light-years from planet Earth, the signal would have returned in 1988, not 1997. This should imply that the alien race was nine years working in the hidden message in the signal before to return it to planet Earth. See more »
The VLA in New Mexico does not listen for radio transmissions, but in fact takes radio "photographs" of space. In their Visitor Center they acknowledge the filming of Contact but debunk the premise of the film that their dishes could be utilized for the purpose described. See more »
Reading other peoples' reviews, I see a split 50/50 argument where one side loves the movie and the other hates it. I am not one bit surprised, due to the importance of the film, and I feel this is proof that Contact is one of the most powerful movies of the decade. Like the reaction from the civilians to the machine, a movie with this much heavy firepower is likely to get both loathing and praise from its viewers. I for one praise the film, for its toughness and sensitivity, symbolism and passion, and the fact that it is a rare science fiction film, a gem which was released in a time where scientific intelligence in film has become a nothing short of a joke as the wonder of the universe has been ignored and the mystery of alien life have become a neverending trail of movie villains.
The film of course centers around the science vs. religion theme, the oldest and most frightening of all school debates. Instead of taking the more independent path the book takes, the film takes the more sensitive on the science vs. religion argument throughout the film by telling us that science and religion points to the same direction (the "pursuit of truth") but are misunderstood when studying the nature of their WAY of finding the truth (science uses evidence and answers, religion uses love faith). At the end of it all, the film lets us know that if science and religion stops colliding with each other and starts to combine and compliment each other (listen to Ellie's final words in her testament) the human race might achieve things we can only dream about now.
A perfectly refreshing film, with lots to say, great acting and directing, sound and special effects. Robbed by the Academy.
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