Denis Villeneuve's ARRIVAL
A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
When Number One Son asked me what I thought of ARRIVAL, this is what I texted back:
Excellent. Thoughtful. Beautifully produced. And very clever.
That pretty much sums it up. This is definitely going on my "Best First Contact Films List" along with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Abyss, the original The Day the Earth Stood Still, Contact, and Interstellar.
That's heady company but Arrival really does "knock it out of the park" in terms of thoughtfulness and intelligence.
One disturbing element of the film is its depiction of humanity's reaction to the visitors: fear. That's what would happen, I suppose, should They ever visit us. The fear is exacerbated by a lengthy period during which we learn to communicate so we can understand why They are here and what They intend to do.
The process by which we learn to communicate is the focus of the film. Amy Adams' linguist Louise is at the center. She's on-screen almost constantly and carries us through the film via a personal story that helps illustrate the "why" of the visit.
This movie definitely warrants re-watching.
Review copyright (c) 2016 by Dennis D. McDonald