Thoughts to the film Arrival (2016)

Wow it’s been years since I last made an entry to this page. Crazy! Years, literally! Anyway, last night I finally decided to watch Arrival which was recommended by a friend.

Quick background about the film: Arrival is a Sci-Fi / Mystery film set in modern day earth which features linguist Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams). One day, 12 unidentified extraterrestrial spacecraft suddenly appeared on several locations around the globe. Due to her expertise and previous help to the military on insurgents, Dr. Banks was recruited by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) to decipher the language of the aliens. She teams up with astrophysicist Dr. Ian Donelly (Jeremy Renner) to further understand the aliens purpose on their visit.

The opening scene sets a serious and somber tone as it shows the audience the tragedy that Dr. Banks went through. I wasn’t actually expecting the film to incorporate a lot of “drama” in it since this is a sc-fi film. However, they have done so brilliantly. The combination of drama with mystery and sci-fi has worked perfectly for the film.

Unlike other alien films, this is not filled with action scenes and sequences like The War of The Worlds and Independence Day. Instead it was more grounded and was done like Close Encounter of the Third Kind.

As for the sci-fi part what I liked it is the way they presented it to the audience. It wasn’t too nerdy like in Interstellar in which they heavily discussed theoretical astrophysics like the special theory of relativity and how it massively affects the story. Here, they didn’t go on that territory but instead explained it in a simplified form. Especially on the way how they figured to communicate with the aliens. The explanation presented was logical and believable and not too ambitious.

The film has banked more on the drama aspect surrounding Dr. Banks and what made her special in a way. It also worked that they made you believe that the narrative was shown in a chronological order when in fact it wasn’t. The thing I liked about this is the further the film goes, the mystery grows and it wasn’t until the ending part when you realize that the film was presented in a non-linear way. Which I find absolutely entertaining and well thought of. I find the story telling consistent and the resolution of conflicts/problems satisfactory. It wasn’t that satisfying but it was believable enough.

The only thing I may have disliked about this is the ending. It is bitter sweet. I just got emotionally invested with Dr. Banks’character and the way that it ended for her is way too sad.

When she asked Ian “if you can see the future would you change them?”. That was the point when she chose to be with him and have her daughter. Yet she accepted the fact that she will lose them both of them in the future anyway. Man that was way too heartbreaking. In a way, it made me like her character more. The choices she made despite knowing the consequences and seeing the future, that is courageous and brave.

All in all I enjoyed this movie. I just didn’t expected it to be emotionally draining. But I still enjoyed it. Amy Adams gave a very good performance. Giving it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Peace, I’m out!

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts to the film Arrival (2016)”

  1. Re: Ending. Well we can’t have everything, can we? 🙂 On the contrary I think it ended well for her, I mean she had another dauther and isn’t that everything she’s “dreaming” of/about?

  2. Re: Ending. Well we can’t have everything, can we? 🙂 On the contrary I think it ended well for her, I mean she had another dauther and isn’t that everything she’s “dreaming” of/about?

    1. I think you got it wrong. That daughter that was presented to us (audience) during the first scene was the same daughter she had with Dr. Ian. Meaning, she only had one daughter. The movie was just presented in a kind of non-linear way. Thereby at the end, when she chose to be with Dr. Ian, she knew she will eventually lose her daughter to a rare incurable disease. During the movie, she had dreams of her daughter coz she was already learning of the “weapon” of the aliens which are their language which allows her to see future events. This is why she asked Ian, if you can see the future would you change it? She did see the future but it is implied she will not change it.

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