I thoroughly enjoyed Arrival, especially since I admittedly had written it off as ‘just-another-Alien-film’ after viewing the trailer. The film was far from generic and had a fantastic story which was told by a fantastic cast. The film shows linguist Dr Louise Banks (Amy Adams) called in by the American government help communicate with some mysterious UFO object. I highly recommend this latest sci-fi drama from Dennis Villeneuve. Here are some of my favourite aspects of the film! This review is fairly spoiler-light but I can’t make too many promises!
An Alien ‘Arrival’ Done Properly
As 12 unidentifiable space ships land across random positions across the Earth. The world, naturally, went into sheer panic and confusion. The coverage of global news was well documented without being overly exaggerated. I felt the news reports were showing a proper social commentary rather than being cheap ways of speeding up the story. Another aspect that the film was certainly lacking was over-the-top military intervention and explosions, but that came at such a relief! The opportunity of meeting an alien race was deemed a site of discovery rather than all out warfare. Of course,
Another aspect that the film was certainly lacking was over-the-top military intervention and explosions, but that came at such a relief! The opportunity of meeting an alien race was deemed a site of discovery rather than all out warfare. Of course, a small band of soldiers tried to sabotage the plans but that had to inevitably happen. In general, humanity excelled itself when interacting with the aliens.
I felt the different areas that are commonly seen in alien sci-fi flicks are too often unbalanced and lean towards cheap gimmicks and poor action sequences. I think Arrival was balanced more towards the plot, intrigue and chance of discovery, which was refreshing to watch. The dosage in each and every area was just right. It’s not a high-paced action alien thriller, it’s something so much better than that!
Amy Adams had an amazing performance as linguist Louise Banks and Jeremy Renner as Ian Donnelly finally played a character that wasn’t an action figure style hero! Both were convincing and enjoyable to watch, especially during a few CGI-heavy scenes, which some actors can’t quite handle. Some have recently been calling for Amy Adams to receive an Oscar and I think Arrival could easily have her achieving at least an Oscar nomination for best actress. Many aspects of the film could easily be awarded, Villeneuve filmed it perfectly and the soundtrack was simple yet haunting.
Aliens Promoting Humanity
I read another blog post that focused on how relevant the message of Arrival was to the events of 2016. It was exactly right, maybe it’s time for more open communication between people and countries during times of crisis. In 2016 Trump/Brexit year, maybe we need to start working together rather than separating ourselves through fear and distrust. I hadn’t even contemplated the topical aspect of the film, but I’m so glad that it was brought to my attention, it makes me appreciate the film even more. Here’s the original Arrival blog post I read from Hammy Reviews, I recommend checking it out!
What did you think of Arrival? Is it ok Oscar-worthy material? Let me know what you think in the comments below! Seen it and need the ending explained? I’ve prepared a very spoiler heavy blog post that explains and discusses the twist and ending of Arrival.