“Arrival” Review

10 November, 2016

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Screenwriter: Eric Heisserer
Director of Photography: Bradford Young
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Synopsis: A talented linguistics professor finds herself in dangerous territory after a group of extra-terrestrials arrive on earth with hidden intentions. Tasked with figuring out a means of communication, the professor develops and intense connection with the aliens as she begins to erode the boundaries set by their contradicting languages.


Arrival Review:

A film about the importance of communication and compromise in times of bitter conflict, “Arrival” sees a delightfully minimalistic approach to Sci-Fi envisioned through the lens of one of the finest directors of our era. As a true auteur by nature, Denis Villeneuve shows consistent quality in each of his movies, regardless of who takes the position of cinematographer, and, in the case of “Arrival”, the finished product is constructed by a master of mood and texture who effortlessly showcases the very essence of cinematic aptitude.

Alongside the crisp visuals and daunting build-up, “Arrival” congeals in a Nolanesque fashion as themes become reality in a complex meditation on time and linearity. Despite the rather insular perspective, Villeneuve puts his blinkered approach to good use as the fear and apprehension experienced during times of crisis become palpable through the eyes of one woman, and one woman only.

“Arrival” is a film that builds its entire premise around the notion of the said and the unsaid. It’s no more about conflict than it is about understanding. As the two extra-terrestrials pace back and forth in a cloud of smoke, it becomes apparent that the clear rectangular wall they shield themselves behind is the same as a cinema screen. Viewer and character become one and the same. We are united as creatures waiting to figure out truth and meaning, with words used as mere signifiers of a past, present, and future. In “Arrival” the foreigners come with a gift, with arms outstretched inside their homemade buffer zone, and it’s a peace offering that comes with a relatable truth about the significance of patience and understanding.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
Arrival
Rating
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