Arrival is about alien pods that land on earth and the people who try to figure out why they have come to earth and whether they should attack or embrace. A linguist, Dr Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is called in by the military to help them interpret communications, what she does for them is invaluable whilst also gaining other worldly abilities herself.
Based of Ted Chaing’s book “Story of Your Life” and adapted for screen by Eric Heisserer this is a touching and strong story about someone seeing past the blurred lines and their peers to gain a gift that will positively impact humanity. It’s also a love story, not between woman and man, but between mother and child.
This is a beautifully constructed story that has you wondering why humanity is so cruel and dismissive of the new and different. Why do we view everything as a threat instead of embracing it and discovering new things? Another thing the movie makes us think about is if we knew something bad was going to happen would we stop it and lose the journey? The answer should be no, but I am sure many of us would opt for yes.
The style used to tell the story fits it perfectly. It’s quite slow moving, but feels realistic as to what the real life people would be experiencing. Emotions are displayed really well, as is the “no nonsense” attitude of the military in regards to emotions. The film had a surreal style to it, which fitted in with how the main character would be feeling.
Amy Adams took on the main role of Dr Louise Banks and was truly the highlight of this film. She gave a wonderfully balanced and emotional performance that 100% portrayed the character in a believable and effective way. All supporting actors were great as well, with the exception of Jeremy Renner who gave a performance that didn’t feel like the character should have and felt more like his own personality.
CGI is great in this film, the aliens (Abbott and Costello) felt surprisingly realistic and were quite terrifying until you got used to them. The way they displayed their language felt very realistic and for a while you forgot it wasn’t real. Language and deigns for the aliens were unique and inspired. To be honest this is one of the most clever and original alien films in a long time.
Denis Villeneuve did a great job at directing, the CGI, music and cinematography are all up to standard with each other. All in all this is a fantastic, well constructed and beautiful film that gives us, humanity, a lot to think about.