Prior to approaching this film, a word of warning that it is what many like to call a "thinking person's sci-fi". If you're going to watch this, I beg that you dedicate your utmost attention to it, as it is truly one rewarding experiences, one of the smartest, most well-constructed science fiction marvels of recent years. 'Arrival' is Villeneuve's magnum opus.
Firstly, to put your mind at ease, I won't be analysing the plot, thus avoiding the use of spoilers. This decade, Villeneuve has crafted some fantastic works of art in the form of 'Prisoners', 'Sicario' and now this science fiction gem, and here's hoping his career further develops with more movie masterpieces coming our way. In a world where mysteries remain and the possibility of extraterrestrial life still stands unanswered, 'Arrival' approaches this with it's cliche-free take on the genre.
The relatively unknown Bradford Young provides the film with some of the most stunning cinematography ever conceived, taking advantage of the twilight hour to give the film its somewhat unique look, supported magnificently by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson whose score is both haunting and beautiful. If you're someone looking for a science-fiction tale that keeps you guessing and thinking throughout, with fantastic performances, cinematography, music and near-flawless direction, then 'Arrival' is the film for you. The masterpiece of 2016!
Denis Villenueve offers a great film, but one that is exactly what the trailer put forth, this is not a Sci-Fi War film waiting to happen, or a modern-day horror. It's a character-driven piece about politics, life, humanity and communication.
_Final rating:★★★½ - I strongly recommend you make the time._
**It was a perfect contact, but troubled at the communication.**
The film was decent. Nowadays there are lots of altered versions coming that you won't easily say those are the remakes or reboots or spin- offs or whatever they call them in these days. Like 'Premotheus' to 'Alien', this film can remind you a few titles from the past, but 'Contact' is what the majority of us believes it got inspired.
The eight Oscars nominees for the film is insane. I know some people liked it, and the film was good, that does not mean it is an Oscar product. I'm okay with the technical side recognition as it deserved that. So visually it was very good, but not a special effects extravaganza. Just a simple sci-fi drama, with a few thrills, particularly towards the end.
When the unexpected visitors from the outer-space land their ships in the twelve different locations on the earth, the humans patiently try to communicate with them to learn their intentions. This story focused on the American soil, where experts are brought in to decode the alien language. How the rest of tale develops was told in the remaining parts.
To me it smells like a trilogy. If not, it should be. I enjoyed it, mainly because of being a drama. Sci-fi is always associated with action, adventure and thriller, but this drama was something fresh as per todays computer graphics dominated cinema world. This is particularly for the family and older people like the grownups. Like I said the youngsters love action and violence. So it is a one time viewable film and you will get everything in that attempt itself.
"I have a brilliant idea for a movie so what we do is we watch scientists step-by-step learn to communicate with an alien species"
"That's awesome but we need an emotional component or audiences will be bored"
"Okay the main scientist's daughter is dead and we show clips of that every couple minutes"
Arrival is an attempt to take a more realistic approach to how an alien visitation would play out, especially within global politics. The main thrust is that Amy Adams has to find out what the aliens want before any other country can fuck it up and they did a great job in casting Amy Adams. I'm not usually any more than indifferent of Adams, but she does a great job here with what she's given. Jeremy Renner does as good as Jeremy Renner can do with a character that isn't just stoic bad-ass. I like Renner, but unlike other alien films, Arrival isn't an "alien invasion" movie where he can run around shooting stuff and making quips, so I'm not sure he was the best choice. The only other actor of note is Forrest Whitaker, who does fine, but he has this stupid accent that has no purpose. I had to watch interviews with him to make sure he wasn't just doing an accent every other time and this was his real voice. No, he does some unnatural accent that really draws you out of the film because there is no reason for it. It's not a foreign accent or a regional one (or at least not one that I've ever heard), it's just some made up shit he does for no reason. The plot is fine for where they are trying to go with the story. Personally, there are some tropes that I really fucking hate and Arrival rides on one of the ones I hate the most. I won't say what it is, because Arrival really should not be spoiled, but subjectively it was a stupid bullshit play and it makes things unnecessarily confusing. Arrival is about the aliens coming to Earth, but that serves more as the gasoline that fuels the very human drama that is very dialog driven and much more about Amy Adams than any of the aliens. I'm unclear about how long the movie takes place, but once they establish the motive of the movie, it feels cheap to skip a huge chunk of time and give us a montage of what happens instead of keeping the flow of progression. The movie takes place mostly in Montana and we get some beautiful scenery and the sets are all great. The cinematography has some interesting ideas and they use shots and colors to enhance the plot. not just document it. Hearing the comparisons to Interstellar, I was afraid of how arrogant, indulgent, and pretentious Arrival might be and while I understand now what they were trying to convey with the comparison, Arrival is none of those things. Arrival doesn't pretend that it's more than it is. There are a few story that keep my personal score from going beyond a four, but I don't see how anyone who watches Arrival knowing what kind of movie Arrival is could give it much less. If you put on Arrival expecting Mars Attacks, Alien, Independence Day, or any other sci-fi spectacle films you are going to be disappointed, Arrival is much more of a drama. Sure, it is technically a sci-fi because aliens, but that's not the drive of the film. If you choose to watch Arrival with the understanding that it can be slow and aggravating and has none of the flash and awe of a typical Sci-Fi, but replaces those with authentic characters and drama, don't think you will be disappointed.