In the climax of The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin delivers what can be easily considered as the greatest monologue in cinematic history. There is a sentence from that great speech which reverberated in my mind after I watched E.T. – ‘We think too much and feel too little.’ Maybe all the nasty opinions of this movie can be summarized by these words of Chaplin.
E.T.The Extra Terrestrial is about a troubled child who finds an alien out in the woods, and then decides to help it return home. The alien in question is a hideous creature which would scare the living daylights out of any child, but that is Spielberg’s gamble, for this is a man who understands what it is to be a child and what it is to truly love.
Steven Spielberg has been a maverick magician of his own league. While his colleagues attracted universal acclaim with their hard-edged, serious, mature work, Spielberg won the world over with his childish vision. Maybe, this has proved detrimental in the long run for him to be considered one of the greatest in this world of art. But there is no denying, without Spielberg, I would have never loved cinema. When I watched Indiana Jones, I knew exactly what I wanted to do – to be an archaeologist ! And with every movie he came up, he made me fall in love with cinema a bit more.
As a critic, I can surely point out the flaws. But that’s the thing about movies like E.T.The Extra Terrestrial, you don’t give a slightest damn about them. For me, and countless others, movies like E.T. are no less than The Tree Of Life, for what we feel seems to be what we take away. I have watched E.T. countless times, and none of these times with dry eyes.
Whenever I watch E.T., I cry and I pity those who cannot love this movie. For if they cannot feel E.T., what in the world can they feel ? They have grown too old not for such movies, but seemingly for life itself. E.T. stands out as an achievement in cinema for it seems one can never to be too young to watch it, and never be too old to fall in love with it.