‘Arrival’ is a a science fiction/drama from the director of ‘Sicario’ and ‘Prisoners’ starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. Without spoiling anything, this movie is mostly about attempting communication with an alien race and the struggles and strategies involved in that.
Now I’m going to start this review right away with the disclaimer that not everyone will like this film. It is classified under science fiction only because of the mention of aliens, but in reality this film is more of an insight into how communication is established between two completely separate worlds. Anyone expecting the classic alien explosions and “phoning home” will be disappointed. That being said, this film explores what makes humans the way they are as well as the way they could be.
When I left the theater, the first thing I said was “I love this movie, but I don’t understand it all”. I think that is an amazing achievement for a movie. My favorite thing to do after going to the movie theater is talking about what happened and possible theories. This film made my brain go even farther and had me thinking about mankind and life decisions well into the night. As far as story goes, this film is really hard to beat in 2016 or even the past decade.
The acting in this film was also stellar, with a stand-out performance form Amy Adams as Louise. There is a great reveal with her character towards the end of the film, and Adams plays the subtleties of the character to an amazing degree. There is just something so dark, yet relatable about her character. I also really liked Jeremy Renner as the more logically thinking science geek. Their chemistry as partners was really great to watch as well.
Although ‘Arrival’ is an excellent, mind bending piece of film, I will say that the main problem that I had was the pacing. This is one of the slowest films I’ve seen in a long time. Granted, I feel like the director wanted to create a sense of impatience in the audience along with the characters as the clock is ticking to find out what the aliens want, but it just got a little much at times.While beautiful, I can only see a sweeping view of the mountains so many times before it gets a little monotonous.
‘Arrival’ is a movie that I am still thinking about in the wee hours of the night, because it opens so many doors. Anyone with an open mind and a love of optimism will love this movie.