Arrival is a high concept sci-fi movie about a professional linguist who is recruited to communicate with mysterious aliens that suddenly appear on Earth. The premise may sound straightforward, but I promise you it’s anything but! Let’s consider the pros and cons of Arrival…
Pros: Firstly, Amy Adams’ performance is nothing short of brilliant, and her interactions with the heptapods are phenomenal! She carries this movie with confidence and grace, which is bolstered by a great supporting cast as well. Secondly, the cinematography in this movie is breathtaking! The sweeping landscape and setup shots aren’t only nice to look at, but they also allow the story to breathe at crucial times. Thirdly, Denis Villeneuve does an excellent job blending both the dramatic and science fiction elements, with each scene serving to build up palpable tension and intrigue. Additionally, instead of using blatant exposition to move the story forward, Villeneuve lets it unfold naturally, as Amy Adam’s character painstakingly tries to decipher the alien language, piece by piece. Lastly, the sound. Whether it’s the score in one scene or the heptapod’s loud growl in the next, the sound is used to great effect!
Cons: High concept sci-fi is right up my alley, so I don’t have many negatives. I will say that upon your first viewing, the sudden “flashbacks” are jarring and feel somewhat out of place. However, by the end of the film, this is explained in an extremely satisfying way. If you have the patience to stick around to see where it goes, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
I give Arrival an A+! It’s an incredibly well structured movie that improves upon repeat viewings. If you like sci-fi and want to see a unique spin on alien encounters, look no further! Happy Watching!
“What is your purpose on Earth?