Synopsis: Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind. (via Wikipedia)

Where do I even begin? I guess I should start off by saying that I did not hate the film, but I don’t think I can say I loved it. It’s very odd. I might have to watch Arrival again to really confirm a love or like. Perplexed is the best word I can think of. After Brendan and I finished watching the movie, no lie, for 30 minutes all we could say was “hmm”. Not in a bad way but we just kept thinking about what we’ve just watched.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

The film begins with a montage of life and death between a mother and daughter. The death being the daughter, who appears to be in her late teens, early twenties.  As I watched, I assumed the montage was the past, but as I would learn, it was actually the future. Linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and Physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) are a team comprised of learning, while questioning, these aliens in heptapods.

“What is your purpose on Earth?”

Louise and Ian learn to trust each other and trust these extraterrestrial visitors enough, that they do not wear hazmat suits while present. Something happens along the way to Louise. While working, she is daydreaming about a girl and seeing her life. Louise is being called mother by this girl named Hannah. Like I stated from the beginning, we thought the montage was the past but it was not. As we later learn, Louise has figured out, that the aliens gave people of Earth a gift; to see the future. Louise opened her mind up so much to the possibility of learning from these aliens, that the montage and her daydreaming was simply her future.

I would love to explain more, but I feel as though I would not be able to convey what I am trying to say. If you are familiar with any sci-fi stories involving time, either in writing or film, you know that explaining without watching can be very confusing.

What I can say, is that I do suggest this film. Even after watching and saying “hmm” for 30 minutes, I am still left wanting more, wanting more answers, that I’ll never get, and I think I am fine with that. The story, albeit confusing at times, managed to keep me intrigued. To see your future, the happiness you would feel, the sorrow that is to come and to still choose to live those exact moments were nothing short of beautiful. I have never seen a story like this regarding aliens. It was not the “norm” we are used to seeing (like wanting to destroy mankind) and I can appreciate that. After proof reading my own review, I guess I can say I like this film.

Like Hell or High Water, more films that have a sense of the stories we know with a new spin or twist is great and I welcome it. We need new stories to tell, more original content. Now go watch this film and get mind blown.

Oscar Contender #4


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