The Visitor

M. and I watch a lot of movies. I watch even more now that I don’t have a job and am home most of the day. I usually pick up about 4-5 movies at the library each week since it’s free. I currently have three movies that need to be returned to the library. I watched the final one this morning and had to write a little blurb about it here because I liked it so much and really found the movie profound.

The movie is The Visitor starring Richard Jenkins. Jenkins is Walter Vale, a man who has led his life on a straight, predictable path. He teaches economics at a Connecticut university, but only one class so he can focus his 4th book. Walter is sent by the university to New York to speak at a conference about a paper he co-authored (but really didn’t write, just read). Walter has maintained an apartment in New York for 25 years and when he returns there he finds it has been illegally sublet to two young people. Two people Walter comes to find out are in the US illegally.

The story evolves as Walter befriends the young man, Tarek, and learns to play the djembe. Walter begins to waver from his previous straight-laced, boring life. Tarek is eventually arrested and detained for being in the country illegally. His girlfriend cannot help him because she would also risk being detained and possible deportation. Walter volunteers to help.

The movie was beautiful on so many levels – the spontaneous friendship between Walter and Tarek, the djembe music, Walter’s new life, his willingness to help. I highly recommend watching this movie.


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