Contact (1997)

Radio enthusiast Eleanor Arroway spends her life looking for extra-terrestrial life. After earning her PhD in Science, she gets the opportunity to use the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

Her funding is cut to end Act I, so Ellie gains funding to use the Very Large Array in New Mexico to spark the beginning of Act II. Four years and bouts of erratic behavior later, the funding is about to run out– until Ellie finds a novel signal coming from the star Vega.

The signal turns out to be a blueprint for some sort of transport machine. Ellie is passed up as first and second choice to ride in the machine (along with being disrespected in nearly every meeting, even though this is supposed to be a female-empowerment flick). First choice Major Russell drops out and second choice Drumlin blows up, so Ellie is picked to ride in the machine. Yay!

Smooth-talking Palmer Joss closes out Act II with a declaration of love to Eleanor Ann Arroway.

ACT III

With newscaster assurance that the security in Hokkaido is top-notch, Ellie walks the gangway to the machine pod. Everyone waits with bated breath.

How was the door sealed that perfectly?

Science.

So if she had been sitting in that seat…?

Yup. Smashed. Especially conspicuous since she was calling for the engineers to remove it.

And that compass…?

Yup. Love saved her life. Especially conspicuous since that was the token Palmer gave her.

Now you’re telling me none of that happened?

Or did it? Is our own reality not just a reflection of our experiences?

Why don’t they send someone else through?

It cost half a billion dollars to build. Let me ask you a question: You really think the US government is going to use it a second time?

Why does Kitz and the Inquiry Committee keep saying there is no physical proof that anything happened?

You mean because that crew on the boat saw the machine create that giant aura of light and generate some level of pull (gravitational or otherwise) on the surrounding water and boat? And then later the confidential file said there was 18 hours of recorded static on her personal visual communication device? Typical bureaucratic red tape.

If we were the only ones in the Universe, wouldn’t it be an awful waste of space?

It sure would, Carl Sagan. It sure would.

If you have any other questions about the finale of Contact, leave them below!

~Phil

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