Film Reviews: Arrival

Originally posted on Meerkat Musings:

A rather strange, complicated and intriguing tale this, but one I’m not sure I’m going to watch again. Arrival is a first contact tale, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, and it offers up an interesting new look at the nature of time.

Adams is Louise Banks, an expert in languages, and she is called in to try and help first contact with aliens when twelve ships land at various locations around the earth. Adams is by far and away the star of the show, with the other characters feeling quite incidental, and the story revolves around the strange language (and mode of thinking) of the aliens, that triggers new thought processes in Banks, in turn letting her understand the aliens and to predict things, as in one sense she’s already lived them.

The result is a film that does have a measure of poignancy, but I dare say the jumping about around time is quite confusing, and makes the film feel a little disjointed. There’s certainly a lot of interest here – in how an alien species might not think in a way we are remotely familiar with, and how strange life might be to us from that perspective. Adams is a powerful performer and this is very much clear from this movie. However, I can’t say I’d go out of my way to watch the film again. It’s not bad, but a little too jumbled for me. 7/10

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