The newest sci-fi film, directed with expert insight into knowing how we view films, and what we take away upon leaving our seat is carefully titled, Arrival. Denis Villeneuve has finessed this movie to be rated with more than one positive thumbs-up by premier viewing audiences. The all-star cast includes Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker.
With any sci-fi, the special effects are expected to be state-of-art, and in this case, your expectations will be rewarded with a plethora of fresh visuals. But not all good sci-fi’s have believable, intelligent, and engaging stories that keep our attention and changes us when the credits roll; until this movie’s “arrival.”
Amy Adams’ character, Louise, starts off with a prologue as she’s seen spending what seems out to be her last few moments ever with her daughter, Hannah (played by four actresses at different years’ of age) at her hospital bedside. Flashback cutaways to mother-daughter moments shuffle in and out of the film’s duration.
The big crescendo in the action and sophisticated drama is that these aliens have come to Planet Earth to share with us human beings their language. This is not as simple as a translating exercise. Their’s is a complex system of written communication that changes the components in the learner’s brain to…wait for it…change time as a circular perception rather than linear. This means we can see the past, present, and futur–all at one time.
The apparent flashbacks of Louise’s are actually projections of the future, with a child she produces with her coworker, Ian (Jeremy Renner). Forest Whitaker as Colonel Weber provides the pressure of an authority figure, or perhaps antagonist. This dares us to reconsider the way we as humans choose to think, living our knowledge of time-capturing; deciding what to call past, present, or future. We are changed by the time leave the theater, whether we truly enjoyed the film or not.
Villeneuve is credited with previous films, Sicario and Prisoners, which profited well under his directing scrutiny, and because of today’s demanding audience, especially where aliens are concerned, this film could be the biggest hit in his career to date. Projected opening weekend gross earnings are hoped to be higher than both prior works.
‘Arrival’ is one of the greatest sci-fi films of this year. The film stars Amy Adams, who plays Dr. Louise Banks, expert linguist who specializes in rare languages. The military recruits her after the world is invaded by aliens, with the hope they can communicate with the aliens inside. The film directed by Denis Villenueve, creates a thought provoking film along with some action. The film succeeds even with its very small cast of characters. The dialogue is delivered efficiently and is not spent discussing details not necessary to drive the story.
The alien ships open once every 18 hours allowing Dr. Banks along with Jeremy Renner’s character (Ian) to enter the ship every day and attempt to communicate with the aliens. Banks begins with basic questions, working her way to ask why are they here?
The story creates plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments which captures the stress of the situation, along with the threat of global war. The film is based on the 1998 short story “Story of Your Life.” The film also stars Forest Whitaker, who plays a Colonel who is tasked by the President to figure out what the aliens are saying and determine whether they are a threat.
The film is helped by its sudden pauses for tension and its dramatic score. Arrival is more than your standard alien-invasion movie (Independence Day) it sets itself apart by its incredible sci-fi premise but also diving into philosophical discussions of life. Arrival delivers a film that offers a thought-provoking story but also memorable visual moments and adds depth of emotion, which is not seen much in regular sci-fi films.
Arrival is a film that deserves to be nominated for an award and Amy Adams performance is worthy of an Oscar nomination. Villenueve delivers a film that focuses on a personal story within a much bigger story. He makes you watch a character’s story while you are watching the plot unfold and seeing them intertwine. Arrival proves that the genre can still be broadened and succeed in the box office.