Film: Arrival

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Screenplay: Eric Heisserer

Based on “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang

Release Date: November 11, 2016

Box Office: $176 million

Runtime: 116 minutes

Notable Actors: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker


The plot rundown: Basically we are introduced to troubled and awkward smart woman Louise, (Amy Adams) who teaches linguistics. For a college professor she has an incredible modern house on a lake, and curiously lives alone and seems overall depressed. She is haunted by flashbacks of losing her daughter to a mystery illness but we have no time to stress about sentimental crap like that. Straight away we are hit with an alien invasion. 12 ufos are dispersed all across the world which interests Louise immensely. Suddenly, scary military guy, (Forest Whitaker) invites Louise to work on the mission to communicate with the aliens. It is then we are introduced to quirky physicist (and lowkey love interest?) Ian, (Jeremy Renner) which causes greatest banter. The rest of movie is filled with heavy breathing, creepy mist, highlights from the Inception cover band, lowkey sexism and unfulfilled questions.

Why you should watch this movie: Basically, this film is one of those films you have to watch more than once to truly understand. This is not a grab the popcorn or date night film. This is the grab the notebook and get ready to earn your degree in linguistics. I will admit the cinematography takes my breath away. The use of lighting in sci fi films are always risky. You don’t want to give the doctor’s office vibe, but you also don’t want it too dark like Tim Burton. As for the acting, Amy Adams’ emotional journey is beautiful to watch. Most of Louise’s struggle is internal which is extremely difficult to portray. However, the thing to watch out for is there are essentially three separate plots happening once. Each of them left unresolved at the end. Maybe this is the waring student in me, but I cannot help but wonder if they are bigger questions behind this simple story. I will leave these questions for you to think about as you hopefully watch this movie: If you knew something was fixed would you still try to change it? What is speech versus text? What is language versus culture?

7/10 would watch again


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