The Almost Lost Greatest Ability of Humankind: 'Arrival' Review

Updated on July 13, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

Hi, I'm Sam, I love movies. My main interest is science fiction and zombie movies. Pessimistic and survival films I also enjoy a lot.

Linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a lonely woman whose academic routine is mixed with images from another moment in her life, in which she raised and loved a daughter until an aggressive cancer snatched her away at a young age. This way, Arrival presents its protagonist in a great way.

Her routine as a university professor changes when twelve extraterrestrial spacecraft appear in 12 different nations of the planet.

Through U.S. Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker), Louise is required to lead a team along with physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) whose mission is to decipher a way of understanding and communicating with the visitors.

In a U.S. military camp in Montana, near one of the spacecraft, Louise makes contact with two seven-limbed extraterrestrials that are cordially nicknamed as Abbott and Costello.

It's evident that the reason for the visit goes beyond a mere hostile invasion. The visitors want to communicate something, and much of that message being decoded and delivered depends on the mutual trust and the cooperation among all nations, each one using its own methods in deciphering the alien's motivations.

And that's where the conflict truly starts.

The beautiful Sci-Fi of Arrival is a mere excuse to stealthy approaching other subjects without quickly arousing the cynicism of the viewer.

Arrival sure has some things from its spiritual influences. From Robert Zemeckis' Contact, it has a mysterious sobriety to show new paradigms. From Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the grandiosity of the act of communicating with the unknown. Check out our alien contact movies list for more imaginative stories about meeting the unknown.

But above all, Arrival is about human connections and how the ego and protocols have negatively mutated what should be a primarily emotional, positive and non-calculating nexus.

Villeneuve's shots are powerful. Nothing shouts better the motif of this movie as the sight of 12 monitors (for each of the nations with an extraterrestrial spacecraft on them) displaying a bright red message of "disconnected," after the distrust and the miscommunication has generated a pessimistic chain reaction.

Jóhann Jóhannsson supports him in a great way. The majestic and historical importance of the actions are perfectly accompanied by a score that emulates the simple patterns of sound communication of the extraterrestrials.

What's Your Rating For Arrival?

See results

Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker both deliver solid performances, but are completely overshadowed by Amy Adams who fully fulfills the enormous responsibility on both sides of the realities. She is the ambassador of humanity, and her work on the emotional credibility of her scenes is almost perfect.

One of the few shortcomings of Arrival is that, towards the end, Villeneuve wrongly believes that he has an unpredictable twist and treats it as such. That expected twist ends up being a distracting element.

But it matters little. The greatest merit of Denis Villeneuve is to have created an intelligent film without a complex narrative. Arrival is an accomplished film with a pacifist, borderline-naive message in this age where cynicism has almost won the emotional battle. That's truly revolutionary.

Movie Details

Title: Arrival

Release Year: 2016

Director(s): Denis Villeneuve

Actors: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker a.o.

5 stars for Arrival

© 2018 Sam Shepards

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)