Released late last year, Arrival is a sci-fi drama directed by Sicario director Denis Villeneuve. Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, alongside Forest Whitaker, the story centres around linguistic professor Louise Banks (Adams) as she tries to communicate with a mysterious alien arrival.
Personally, this was probably the best film I saw last year. I was never a huge fan of sci-fi when I was growing up, being more of a Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter fantasy-world loving nerd, yet in recent years I have come to really appreciate the genre. The fact that my significant other is a huge sci-fi nerd probably also helps!
Satisfying aliens, with drama!
Many people have described this film, including numerous critics, as a “satisfying drama, with aliens” which it is. Yet I believe that the ‘alien’ i.e. science fiction elements of this film are inherent to the story. Yes, it is ultimately about humanity and communication and how we perceive our own timelines or ‘stories’. But they wouldn’t have been able to explore the same outlets without having the foreign elements of those ‘unknowable’ beings and other-worldly circumstances.
Between Louise and physicist Ian’s (Jeremy Renner) attempts to communicate with these alien ‘invaders’, dubbed “heptapods”, they develop quite an intimate relationship. As tensions get high among civilians as well as world leaders, our human inclination towards ‘defence’ of what we know becomes a more and more likely course of action. Can Louise figure out why these alien visitors are here before Earth forces them to leave?
You definitely have a watch to find out! Give it a go if you liked Interstellar or Blade Runner. Also, if anyone has also read Kurt Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse 5 and saw some similarities, please let me know your thoughts! But remember – no spoilers!
Arrival is showing in cinemas until the end of January – catch it while you can!