YMMV / Contact

YMMV tropes and audience reactions for the novel by Carl Sagan Contact:

  • He Also Did: Carl Sagan, astronomer and famous for the scientific documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, as well as essays and books of scientific and skeptical nature, writing a novel might sound alien for some. Indeed, it's possible to notice common points in this book which are later repeated (or are repeated from) his other works.

YMMV tropes and audience reactions for the 1997 film Contact:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Even in-universe, nobody's sure what Hadden was really after, especially considering how close to death he was. Money? A charitable contribution to mankind's future? Manipulation for its own sake? Scientific discovery? All of the above?
    • Drumlin is very politically savvy and much of what he does lampoons Ellie. However he never does anything bad and unlike Ellie who is very condescending to those (pretty much everyone) who don't understand the science as well as she does he is very good at explaining things so regular people can understand.
    • Kitz is the National Security Advisor. He would be blatantly derelict in his duties if he wasn't skeptical and cautious about everything going on. It is a theme of the movie of course, but Ellie puts a lot of faith in the aliens.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Magnificent Bastard: Hadden. There's no other way to put it.
  • Narm Charm: When Drumlin says Ellie won't be taken serious as a scientist with her SETI work, she shouts back "So What?! It's my life!" It makes her sounds more like a petulant teenager than a respected scientist. It actually got a laugh when this troper saw the movie in a theater.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Most people recognize the film due to its high-profile Troubled Production as well as the negative publicity surrounding then-president Bill Clinton making an unauthorized cameo as well as those of real-life CNN personalities.
  • Strawman Has a Point/Wrong Genre Savvy: Kitz is a total jerkass, but when you think of it, his fears aren't that stupid as they sound in context. At one point he even asks Ellie directly about why she thinks the aliens must be benign.
    • Near the end of the book, Ellie starts to wonder if she has been selling him short. Given that personal experience vs. objective evidence is a major theme of the book this portrayal may be deliberate.
      • In the movie, it comes full circle: Kitz discovers definitive evidence that the aliens are real, but suppresses it to maintain the status quo. But he also gives Ellie a blank check for future SETI research. He's a politician - he's playing all the angles.

YMMV tropes and audience reactions for the 2006 video game Contact: