CONTACT - The Film

July 20, 2003

  • The quest of a scientist for other civilisations is the theme.
  • One theme that is well expressed by this film is the entrenched irrationality of people at all levels. Those who believe and those who do not believe are equally irrational.
  • Public opinion that is highly valued is depicted here in its purest form: It is incapable of knowing its subject. It is insistent on its opinion.
  • These are themes as old as our civilisation.
  • The film would not have been half successful if the technology part were removed. Popularity is for the technology and speaks about the character of popularity. Truth and popularity rarely go together. If they do, it is by coincidence.
  • The scientist in Dr. Ellie Arroway that constantly asks for proof is unable to offer proof for her rare physical experience. Proof belongs to the physical plane; all life is NOT confined to the physical.
  • Authority always has a substantial dose of falsehood. In times of crisis, as a rule, it is always the falsehood that wins, though not ultimately.
  • Any trailblazer is deserted by life early. Ellie loses her mother and father.
  • Every seeker is being watched by good angels is a theme well portrayed. Those aids come to Ellie as Life Responses – they precipitate into reality when she exhausts her efforts.
  • Falsehood usurping truth can never succeed is seen in the life of Dr. Drumlin. When he takes over her accomplishment, the world around her is silent. It is a silent conspiracy or conspiracy of silence. The society at large rarely comes to the rescue of Truth.
  • The Positive and Negative are two sides of life apparently opposite, really complementary. Sri Aurobindo often implies that the negative is greater or more powerful than the positive. In accomplishing Ellie's mission, the billionaire S.R. Hadden lives up to that principle.
  • The blind man in the story, Kent, is a symbolic representation of human blindness, even when one espouses Truth and seeks it all one's life.
  • In the West, individual Truthfulness is commendably high.
    It is the core of scientific research.
    In Ellie, it is at its height.
    The Truth that is partial is ineffective socially because of its being NOT a whole.
    Hence, Ellie's Truth often stumbles.
    Even when it physically succeeds, it is a social failure.
    Had it been whole, i.e. the Mind that is the part is either supported by the emotions or the Spirit, it would have become a social success.
    In 'The Matrix' Neo's failure is made up by the love of Trinity.
    The WHOLE is neither Mind nor the emotions. Even the Spirit is only a part. But when the partial Mind is supported by another part the vital – emotions – its character of being partial is lessened and its effectivity rises.
  • The real WHOLE is the Spirit in the Being, the Psychic Being, the evolving Spirit. All others are parts.
  • Rachel Constantine, the black lady officer in the White House who discovers that Ellie actually traveled for 18 hours, in conjunction with Michael Kitz, the National Security Advisor, suppress that fact and lets people believe that Ellie traveled for only one second. Even in a society where Individuals are extremely personally TRUTHFUL, in times of crucial decisions, ONLY falsehood will prevail. Individuals wedded to TRUTH are not enough to serve TRUTH or make the collective consciousness serve TRUTH.
  • Hence the extreme importance of Truth.
  • The September 11 attack on World Trade Centre by the abominable terrorist gang has its 'rationale' in that they were the negative instruments of a positive service to humanity. They are really at war with the organised hypocrisy of international diplomacy. Neither USA nor Europe will be able to eradicate terrorism without giving up this poison in the soul of the nation.