SK Moviez: Arrival

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I like Denis Villeneuve’s movies. He’s a relatively “new” director from Canada. He directed Prisoners, which I found one of the harder movies I ever had the pleasure to watch. I watched it at the time my own daughter was the same age as the girls who were taken, which made it particularly hard on my fillings. I also recall a fair amount of alcohol and groaning and fidgeting around. I also liked Sicario very much, although I thought the ending was very far-fetched and didn’t make much sense at all (from any sort of US strategic perspective, combatting drug-cartels).

I also really like Amy Adams.

… And I am a sci-fi nut.

Hal 9000

Denis Villeneuve directed a new sci-fi movie starring Amy Adams!

(It also stars Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner in supporting roles).

Arrival Movie Poster

The poster makes the nature of the movie quite clear.

Huge alien ships arrive on earth.

Who are they and why have they come?

Amy Adams is a world renowned linguist who is recruited to help communicate with the alien-ships.

There is a trailer here.

I think the trailer is great, but it does spoil some of the movie a bit, since you go in knowing too much of the plot and its look and feel.

You can find the actual movie here.

A r r i v a l .

The movie opens up rather gloomy. We see Amy Adams and her daughter – a flashback ? – the daughter dies in a hospital. Amy speaks of time and remembering. She’s a professor of linguistics. We see her enter her classroom which is mostly empty, she begins the lecture and phones and devices go off… Aliens have come to earth. Huge spaceships, 12 of them, hovering silently all over the earth. The actual arrival, the student’s in the class, the way they respond? Amy later walking through the empty university?

It’s very well done.

Amy is recruited by the military to come help communicate with the aliens.

After some spitballing and struggle Amy manages to get the aliens to communicate.

Their language is unique.

Only by teaching them our language and learning theirs can we communicate and learn why they have come to earth.

The movie evolves like a drama/mystery. It’s slow paced, but has a lovely rhythm to it. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker are all great characters. Dialogue is great, special effects and scenery are wonderful. It all feels very toned down, like a “smaller” movie.  The colors are greyish, light-greenish, not bright hollywood sparkle.

Various nations are trying to communicate with the aliens (at the different locations their ships are hovering).

There is suspicion, frustration, anxiety, paranoia and dedicated scientific work, trying to solve this linguistic puzzle.

Not a whole lot happens in the movie, but it’s a delight to watch.

The linguistic premise, the problem to be solved is of course very far fetched, but it’s done in a nice way.

The movie does fall within the standard of two categories.

Aliens either come here to kill us all, or they come here to save us from ourselves, but it’s done very well, in a lovely tempo, with a great story.

I really liked it.

I thought Amy Adams was terrific, she was very calm and poised and came off as indeed an industry/linguistic nut.

Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker were great, as believable, calm and most of all genuine characters making rational decisions.

Spoiler Alert

As to her daughter dying?

In my imagination this happened because she and her partner did become exposed to some form of radiation while being on board the alien ship – especially her longer exposure in the alien atmosphere. During pregnancy that would then have led to a complication which eventually resulted in the little girl passing away.

For Tracydeadhead.