Monday, November 14, 2016

Film Review: Arrival

Arrival arrived in theaters at the perfect time, just days after the most unbelievable 2016 Presidential election ended so horrendously. My love for the space epic and aliens genre helped me escape from reality if just for a couple of hours. I have often told people that probably the only thing that would bring all of humanity together is an alien invasion from another planet, and I think I may be right on that because director Denis Villeneuve apparently thinks the same way. Arrival touches on that, but on a much more cerebral and mysterious way.

One day, over a dozen locations around the planet, gigantic black oblong space crafts appear in the sky. The world is shocked and scared, and governments around the world instruct people to stay in their homes while they mobilize the military. Dr. Louise Banks, played by Amy Adams, is a linguist sought out by the US government to translate communications with the aliens. She is joined by Ian Donnelly played by Jeremy Renner, a theoretical scientist. Soon after Louise meets the aliens, and they communicate with her, she begins to experience strange things related to her past in which she still mourns about. The past is also interlaced with events that have yet come to pass, and she soon comes to understand that the stressful act of communicating with the aliens has changed her mental perception of time.

With the military getting itchy fingers to hurt the aliens before they harm humans, Louise is the only person on Earth who can figure out what they want and help both them and mankind. Arrival has elements of 2001 Space Odyssey and Intergalatic, and can be slow paced at times, but this is really a great film that comes at a good time. Arrival serves as a lesson that we have work together to solve complex problems that affects us all.  Just because you don't understand something or someone due to extreme language barriers - patience, compassion, and a very open mind will assuage any concerns and save both interests.

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