Arrival (2016 Sci-fi Drama Film)
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  • I find it truly distracting that language is one of the main themes here but the distributor actually did not know how to communicate/market this film to the general audience
  • If I were you, I suggest you do not watch any trailers of this film and prepare yourself for rewarding surprises
  • I have not seen most of his films aside from Sicario which I did not greatly enjoy, so I am a bit optimistic as I started this one
  • The people who have seen this keep mentioning that they are reminded of Interstellar after seeing this movie, which is my favorite film of all time so there is a reason for me to be really excited about this while keeping my expectations in check
  • It might be too slow for people who wanted to see action so if you are one of those people then do not expect you are watching the right film


by Laudemhir Jan Parel

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    The way this film is marketed is truly off-putting, who else wants to watch another alien-invasion movie? I find it truly distracting that “language” is one of the main themes here but the distributor actually did not know how to communicate/market this film to the general audience. Granted, science fiction movies that asks you to bring your brain with you in the cinema are very hard-sell, but the trailer is just truly misleading. If I were you, I suggest you do not watch any trailers of this film and prepare yourself for rewarding surprises.
  • Arrival (2016 Sci-fi Drama Film)
  • Arrival is Denis Villenueve’s 9th directorial feature. I have not seen most of his films aside from Sicario which I did not greatly enjoy, so I am a bit optimistic as I started this one. The people who have seen this keep mentioning that they are reminded of “Interstellar” after seeing this movie, which is my favorite film of all time so there is a reason for me to be really excited about this while keeping my expectations in check.

    After seeing this movie, I can see why this is being compared to Interstellar, the plot is not really identical but there are major elements (particularly the “storytelling” aspect) that can be drawn back to the Christopher Nolan masterpiece. Not a bad thing though, in fact it made a really cool improvisation of using “flashbacks” that pays off really well in the film’s third act.

  • Arrival (2016 Sci-fi Drama Film)
  • I am a little bit confused about the plot right after seeing the movie. It tries to do so many things at once, and if I did not give it enough breathing room for afterthoughts, then it gets a little messy.

    A world-renowned linguist Dr. Banks (Amy Adams) who appeared to suffer a very traumatic event from her past, is recruited to decode the language from what appears to be aliens who landed in several locations around the world. She is tasked to find out the answer to the question of every people in the planet, “Why did the aliens come here?” But in order to do so, she used her understanding of language and communication as her power to understand these beings.

  • Arrival (2016 Sci-fi Drama Film)
  • Amy Adams carries this role in her shoulders, she is the cornerstone of this movie. Her acting is really subdued, but the emotional payoff at the end is great in extent that it becomes really hard not to be touched by her deeply moving performance. She does not even need to have a single Oscar clip to tell you she is one of the best living actresses today.

    Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) is a physicist who teams with Dr. Banks in her mission - but I think his character is really unnecessary. Not that Renner is bad in this movie (because he is good), but he does not add anything substantial at all.

  • Arrival (2016 Sci-fi Drama Film)
  • Much like its performances, everything in this movie is just so well-made. It’s a product of exemplary work from its creative team. Director Denis Villenueve acts as the film’s main backbone and his overall choice for the aesthetic, the overall tone, the pacing/editing, the cinematography, and the music used in this movie is a true work of a mastermind. I think the reason why he never impressed me with his previous feature Sicario is that it fails to deliver the emotions, which this movie does (and really well). It’s not to say this manipulatively panders to the heart, but the way it builds up to an emotional third act is very deserved and satisfying.

  • Arrival (2016 Sci-fi Drama Film)
  • And let me not forget to mention that this movie looks so beautifully shot. The cinematography is really outstanding, the visuals just gorgeously drop in the frames and then there is no way out. There are some great references to great sci-fi classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey. Definitely one of the year’s most accomplished film in that aspect.

    The production design is really cool too. In fact, inside the shell/UFO I felt like they were on an alien land, it looks so rightfully barren and eerie.

    And let’s talk about one of the best part in the movie, the perfect use of Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight” - which really gives shivers and goosebumps as it is played in the most important parts of the film. I still feel my hand shaking everytime I listen to it. Absolutely gorgeous use of existing music.

    In conclusion Arrival is definitely more than what it is being advertised. It might be too slow for people who wanted to see action so if you are one of those people then do not expect you are watching the right film. This movie is a thinking piece that packs a lot of ambition, symbolism, and a call for understanding among every people in this planet through the use of communication and language. It shows an honest portrayal of how divided we are as a planet, and perhaps an answer to connect us. But it does so without being too loud in its message, hiding behind an almost another “alien-invasion” movie as its plot. Trust me, this movie will make you think, and that is what a great movie does.



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