There are very few science fiction films that really move you emotionally, and Arrival is one of those gems. It is also one of those films that will lead to a load of analysis around the theme and understanding of the subject.
Louise is a language professor who is reached out by the Government authorities when some alien ships appear on several locations in the world. She teams up with a theoretical physicist ian to communicate with the extra-terrestrial species in order to learn their purpose. How the communication works and is she able to decipher the message is the premise of the film.
The story of the film is based on the short story “Story of Your life” by Ted Chiang. The story seems to be one of the most logical approaches that connects with humanity of the first contact with alien life. At the same time, it has numerous analogies that you can draw it the present world situation.
Despite being sci-fi genre at the core, the film keeps it grounded, Director Denis Villeneuve, who is known for his slow burn thrillers Prisoners and Sicario, carries on that genre and will give you an Argo kind of urgency thrill towards the climax. The frames in the film as well the space ship also pay homage to the classic Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A space odyssey.
The film has a near perfect cast with Amy Adams as the protagonist steals the show and most probably will get another Academy Award nomination for her grounded yet determined performance. Jeremy Renner however gets a few good lines yet the character does not really have as much scope as a star of his caliber would need. Forest Whitaker is pretty much usual
Technically from the sound to the special effects everything is amazing in Arrival. Though the film does keep most of the high tech things minimalistic yet they leave a lasting impact. The sound design as well as the moody background score are also expected to be in the technical nominations in the upcoming Academy Awards.
Overall Arrival is one of the best films of the year and is worth a second watch. There will be open questions and will be a number of explanations already flowing on the internet. Just before you see or hear anything you have to catch this one on the big screen.
My watch list already includes all the films by Denis Villeneuve now.