E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
Coming to the story, it is the tale of a young boy who is a kind of aloof and depressed, finding an alien in the jungle. The alien is a thin short creature – greyish brown in color, bipedal and a benevolent reptilian look. The story goes on to portray the development of a bond between the alien and the boy. The boy’s brother and sister also are taken into confidence and they too befriend the alien. The middle segment of the movie is fun with the alien displaying super powers that cause viewers to marvel and some funny situations arising out of the mental bond between the alien and the boy. The key conflict in the story is whether the alien will be able to return successfully to his own planet are not. The scientist on earth play the antagonists trying to retain the alien and use him for his experiments. The alien is trying to build a communication device to contact his fellow aliens. It is up to the kids to protect him from the scientists and help him return home. We have dramatic moments in between like the creature beginning to sicken and almost dying with the boy also getting affected due to his bond with the alien. Overall a good mix of emotions, fun and fantasy I would say – not much of real hardcore science as such.
Coming to my thoughts on the movie, at that age I was fascinated. But now if I were to see the movie, I would call it clichéd except for the nostalgia associated with it. There have been so many alien movies and there are typically two to three themes. The first one is the premise of this movie – a benevolent alien getting stranded on earth hounded by evil earth scientist and rescued by protagonists. The second one is hostile aliens trying to invade earth fended off by the team effort of the good scientists and cowboy hero. A third theme is possibly Earthmen exploring an alien planet and becoming enmeshed in their culture, religion and politics. The third has lot of scope and each movie can be very different from the other. But the first two are kind of limited in scope. However so many movies are based on the first two probably because they are easier to make. You don’t need that much graphics and the stories would not stretch the imagination of the story writer nor the viewer much. All you need to do is give different looks and powers to the aliens and have people from different situations as protagonist – children, boy and dad, friends, lovers etc. Then you mix the usual human relation drama with the predictable alien interaction theme and you have a movie.
This movie could have been the originator of the cliché and hence may itself escape being tagged as a cliché. For me personally, it was memorable, it being my initiation into the world of science fiction. I am not sure if I had even thought about existence of aliens before seeing that movie. The humorous situations arising out of the alien’s use of its powers are the fun part and enjoyable – guess this is the good part of this kind of movies which is not there in the alien attacking earth type of movies.
In the final analysis, I would recommend people to see it as one of the golden oldies. Nothing much to excite the core science fiction buff as such.