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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thoughts on Arrival

I really liked Arrival a lot, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Incendies) and based on the short story "Story of Your Life" by Tony Chiang. It was a thoughtful movie about communication, humanity, and language. It had a slow build to it that made it intriguing to watch, and Amy Adams radiated compassion, intelligence, and curiosity in her performance as a linguistics professor trying to communicate with the language of aliens who have arrived on Earth. I really liked a bit when she tells the government people why she can't just straightaway ask the aliens what their purpose is on Earth, because she has to teach them what a question is, what the parts of speech mean, and what purpose means. It is a movie about aliens arriving on Earth, but not like an invasion movie a la Independence Day, more like Contact or Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The last third was a bit of a trip, as I could think of a couple of different interpretations of the ending, and I don't know which one is accurate. Throughout the film, Adams' character is mourning the death of her teen daughter, and flashbacks come back to her, causing her grief and PTSD. There was more significance beyond it, regarding her communication with the aliens, but I didn't fully understand it. It is a film I would definitely watch again.

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