E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Review

Director? Steven Spielberg
Star Cast? Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas
Screenplay? Melissa Mathison
Run-Time? 114 Minutes
Genre? Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Sci Fi
Our Rating? 4.5/5

The idea of ET was not new for Spielberg. He was always fascinated to extra terrestrial life and aliens and he even had an imaginary friend in childhood, an alien. Due to his parents divorce, he spent much of his time imagining things. It was during that time that he thought of ET. While shooting Indiana Jones and Raiders of Lost Ark, Spielberg felt that he must make a movie for kids, widely showcasing his own childhood. He started working on the script and then came up with ET. With almost amateur cast and a not so big budget, Spielberg shot ET in months and then released it in 1982. As soon as the film hit box office it reached new skies of success. The film become the highest grossing film of all time (surpassing Steven’s Jaws) and held that position for 10 years until it was surpassed by another Spielberg’s film Jurassic Park. How much E.T. impacted Steven’s career could be understood by the fact that the famous scene where E.T. and Elliot were seen flying with moon in the background were chosen as one of the best scene of the century. The scene was later used as main logo by Ambilin Entertainment, the production company founded by Steven Spielberg. In coming decades, Many production companies and directors copied the idea of ET and successfully cashed money on box office. The concept was used by many film industries in the world but no one was as good as the original. Indian film movie Koi Mil Gaya starring Hrithik Roshan is also a lose remake of ET.

Steven even thought of making a sequel to the film in the story line would follow Elliot being transported to the planet of ET and then being attacked by the evil aliens. But the idea was dropped as Steven thought it might not go with the reputation of original film and also it would have been too costly.

Plot: ET revolves around the life of a young boy named Elliot who lives in California. 10 year old Elliot is often mocked by his older brother and his friends while his mother doesn’t give enough attention to him. This is when Elliot meets an extra terrestrial life form (which actually is left behind by an alien space ship). At first Elliot gets afraid of him (due to his horrifying looks) but when he gets sure that ET is harmless he makes him friend and hides him in his room. He find out that ET is very intelligent life form capable of doing magical things like levitation and telepathy. He introduces ET to his brother and young sister who are shocked but accept it. Meanwhile, U.S. Govt. agents are looking for the life form and they come to know about that it is being hidden by local boy Elliot.

This initiate a series of events where the govt. officials tries to get hold of ET while Elliot and his friends tries their best to hide ET from the world and help him to get back its world. But who will be successful? Will ET be harmless like that, Will he be able to go back to his world? What will happen to Elliot and his friends if they are caught by the government?

The Good: The Plot and Theme
What worked for E.T. was the amazing bond shown between the kids and the alien. Specially the friendship shown between Elliot and the alien. The two can not understand each other’s language yet they are able to understand each other’s pain and emotions. E.T. could be easily cited as one of the best sci fi film, best fantasy film and best kids film of all time. Steven Spielberg carefully worked on each minute element of the plot and made a film that will be remembered for ages. Several of the scenes and dialogues of the film were chosen as the most memorable in the history of cinema. Like one of the famous dialogue from the film is ‘ET Phone Home’ which is widely used in pop culture.

The Bad: Too much usage of the theme
While E.T. was one of the first film of its own kind yet it might not appeal kids of our generation and those who watch it now. Reason is because this concept has been used again and again. Some improved it while others just ruined the beauty of this concept. Viewers who have seen such movies might not like E.T. but one thing is for sure, this is one of the best Kids film ever made.

Should I Watch It?: Why Would you miss a film that has so many memorable scenes and that is among the highest grossing film of all time. Also Spielberg’s film are known for their scenic beauty so you dont want to miss the beautiful locations that are shown in the film.