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Monday, 28 November 2016

The Review | Arrival

Arrival is a movie that plays around with your emotions, but never in a way that feels manipulative. This is an alien invasion movie with only a few aliens, a few explosions, and a twisty-plot that holds you comfortably by the hand into, and out of, the abyss. It’s an impressive accomplishment, but one that somehow lacks the sci fi thriller moments I was hoping for.

Our heroine is Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguist mourning the loss of her daughter to cancer. She's awoken in the middle of the night and asked to help a team of scientists unravel the mysteries behind the arrival of 12 alien spacecraft that have landed across all corners of the globe. She's tasked with making first contact with the aliens and trying to translate their language.

This is where the plot takes an odd turn and where I started to lose interest. The aliens are revealed within the first 15-20 minutes of the movie removing any kind of fear or tension that you'd normally associate with a theme such as this.

Before long Dr. Banks turns into more of a Dr. Dolittle as she engages in conversation with the beings and starts to understand their culture, and more importantly the reason for their 'arrival' on Earth
Without giving too much away, Arrival is an innately hopeful and pacifistic movie. Louise’s effort to understand the aliens, despite the fearful human reactions around her, makes a powerful case for communication over conflict.

At its core, it's a movie about language and communication. How are we able to connect and interpret others? If 12 giant alien ships, which kind of looked like Pringles chips, were to one day appear randomly across the globe, how do we interpret intent? That's the movie's ticking clock, uncovering the intent of the seven-legged squid-like aliens before the more alarmist elements of our society give in to paranoia and destruction.

Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think if you've seen the movie.



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