Movie Review (ARRIVAL)

I watched the movie ARRIVAL (from 2016) last night, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. What a fascinating premise: A linguist assists the U.S. military to communicate with highly advanced alien visitors. I particularly enjoyed the weird atmosphere and vibe within the aliens’ spacecraft. Amy Adams is very believable as a grieving, open-minded yet freaked out professor trying to peacefully connect with enormous heptopod (seven-legged, seven-digited) beings from another world. The claustrophobic environments of the spacecraft and the military tents for much of the film lend an immediacy to the narrative. It also made me, the viewer, more readily able to empathize with Dr. Banks (Adams). Her past becomes interwoven into the story, making the drama a very personal one. The way time gets looped is purposefully confusing and intriguing. The primary shape of the circle is a key element in the story, symbolizing interconnection, the foundation of language, nonlinear aspects of time and space, and probably other things. Very clever. There is a lot to ponder in this contemplative film.

I appreciated the ultimate message of ARRIVAL that inter-cooperation among people and nations is vital in order to save humanity and the planet. I also valued the movie’s other main message: from one’s personal pain can come deep learning and even success. My hope is that it does not take an alien race catalyzing world peace to finally occur. But, I’m certainly open to this if that’s what it will require to accomplish such a dream. In any case, I enjoyed watching this thought-provoking, introspective, hope-inspiring movie. If you like this sort of screenplay, I recommend you see ARRIVAL.

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