Arrival (2016) Review

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Dr. Louise Banks a top linguist is recruited by the military after the arrival of Aliens on Earth. She must attempt to communicate with them, understanding their language and getting them to understand ours.

Across the world one day 12 pods arrive and along with it a lot of mystery and obvious panic as people are well pretty much scared. Louise ends up being a big hope for the US camp in breaking down the language barrier in an attempt to find out exactly why they have landed on Earth. What purpose do they have? Everyone just assumes they are going to attack and well kill everything. Teamed up with a top scientist Ian Donnelly, they must work together using language and scientific theory to really try and crack the code used in their language.

The thing with a Sci-Fi alien invasion film is that we have seen quite a lot over the years and involving space. Something this film does so brilliantly has to be that initial meeting with the aliens. With Louise hyperventilating as she is heading inside the pod, surely that is how must people would really feel at that very moment. Terrified for what you are about to see considering she had already heard the noises they were making. It puts the audience in the same situation and you find yourself holding your breathe as you see them for the first time. Not going to spoil how they look or anything like that as it would take away the mystery which is build up so well.

I will admit that it doesn’t really take too long to see them. The film really does fly over as it is combined with the alien meetings and Louise having flashbacks from different stages of her life. We are reminded throughout that time might just be different in different places and forms. That really is something that sets this film apart, it makes you think about your memories and if you can actually remember everything in the “correct” order. Something that probably isn’t always possible.

It was good to see the different approaches the 12 countries were taking towards the aliens and pods arriving. As surely that would happen, when they should be working together people getting spooked and going it alone. Sometimes all it takes is one moment to sort something like that out. I actually thought I had a full understanding of the film and everything sorted out in my head until the final quarter when everything is flipped well upside down and inside out. That was a good thing though as the film actually made the point the story was making, hope that makes sense! If you have seen the film already I am sure you will understand what I mean.

It has good performances and really does make you think and wonder about well everything in your life. Not something that every film can manage to do, this one really does do it in such a thought provoking and unique way. It had me awake for a while last night trying to get everything straight in my head about this one, I will leave you trying to understand even more! Language is key!

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25 thoughts on “Arrival (2016) Review

  1. This one got me thinking long after I left the cinema, a really thought provoking and very well made film with a brilliant performance by Adams!

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  2. Great review. I saw this at the LFF and I have to say that I still don’t know what to make of it. I had very mixed feelings after seeing it. My initial reaction was being rather underwhelmed and that was due to the change in tone during the second half. I had the same feeling after watching Interstellar.

    I thought the first half of Arrival was very good with a fine performance from Amy Adams and I was disappointed how the remainder of the film developed. I seem to be in a minority with my views and I have to admit that I can’t understand everybody raving over it. I think I’ve been spoilt by so many epic sci fi movies like 2001, Close Encounters and Contact.
    Maybe if I watched it again!…

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    • I thought I had it all figured out and spot on until the final quarter changed well everything. I don’t get the massive hype around it but I did find myself enjoying it. My previous cinema trips had not been fantastic though, so maybe my expectations were slightly lower!

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