July 15, 2012
asterisk8 mar 11 2011
I found this edit to be a bit of a letdown. I’ve read the book twice, seen the movie probably four times since its original release, so I was excited by the prospect of a fanedit that addresses some of the film’s shortcomings. However, I found the restructuring of the beginning and ending to be ultimately ineffective. The fade from “that’s a good answer” to the capsule’s splashdown was very abrupt. It did not feel like a natural transition. The scenes following Ellie’s return and the Congressional hearing do not feel like the beginning of a movie. They have the narrative complexity and weight of post-climatic scenes. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the movie already, but these scenes just feel out of place, as though reading the last chapter of a book first. Yes, putting them up front gets rid of the “bummer” ending, but instead now you spend the whole movie knowing that Ellie’s journey is going to be met with incredulity and downright hostility. It casts a pall over the entire film that works against any uplifting message it’s supposed to have. Finally, although I really liked the idea of ending on a shot of Vega with the sound of the message, it also ends very abruptly. I would’ve liked the shot of Vega to cut to black, with just the sound of the message pulsating 4 or 5 times, then a beat or two of silence, followed by the credits. That would’ve let it simmer just a little more.
I did really like the recoloration of the beach sequence, and the removal of the superimposed smile of awe on Ellie’s face. I also appreciated the excision of most of the romance plot, because I was never a big fan of that either.
It’s an interesting concept, and I’m glad I saw it, but I would have to recommend this fanedit only to those who’ve seen the original and were mostly disappointed by it. I would not recommend this edit to someone who is new to Contact.
Overall, I rate it a 6/10.