Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.
|Release Date||:||November 10, 2016|
|Genres||:||Drama, Science Fiction|
|Production Company||:||21 Laps Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment, Lava Bear Films|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Denis Villeneuve, Donald Sparks|
|Writers||:||Ted Chiang, Eric Heisserer, Sam Hudecki|
|Casts||:||Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O'Brien, Russell Yuen, Nathaly Thibault, Joe Cobden, Julia Scarlett Dan, Philippe Hartmann, Andrew Shaver, Bineyam Girma, Shawn Campbell, Larry Day, Julian Casey, Pat Kiely, Mustafa Haidari, Abigail Pniowsky, Carmela Nozza Guizzo, Anana Rydvald, Jadyn Malone, Ruth Chiang, Leisa Reid, Brittany Teo, Chistian Jadah, Genevieve Sirois, Tammie Sutherland, Daniel Esteban, Kathleen Stavert, Hal Roberts, Leslie Baker, Michael Nangreaves, Karen Belfo, Chloë Bellande, Robert D. Morais, Laurean Adrian Parau|
|Plot Keywords||:||spacecraft, alien, based on short story, alien language, linguist, female lead, first contact, communication|
Last night I saw Arrival at TIFF and my mind was blown. This is by far Villeneuve's biggest film he has tackled yet with so many strong universal themes but yet also feels very emotional and intimate from the perspective of Amy Adams's character.
Unlike Villeneuve's previous works like Prisoners and Sicario, Arrival isn't a dark or twisted look at humanity. Instead, Villeneuve chooses to go for a lighter yet still serious tone with the mystery surrounding the arrival of the aliens. That is what makes Arrival so incredible. Villeneuve injects elements from Stanley Kubrick's 2001 to make the story not only visual stunning but also makes it very captivating. Arrival does not rely on conflict between the humans and aliens to keep you invested and entertained because Arrival is against that trope. Each time our characters interact with the aliens, who remain covered in mist for most of the screen time, we as the audience gain something new in the form of knowledge and discovery rather then an action set piece. And when we return back to the outside world, we see through the media how each discovery affects it in different ways.
The characters are one of the reasons why this film works. They are not treated as cliché plot devices but are just real people who just want answers to this situation. Amy Adams truly is the star of this film as she carries this film with a sense of gravitas but also vulnerability. She shows a woman who is at first terrified from meeting the newly arrived aliens but gains strength when she learns more. Flashbacks to a tragic event also reveal the struggle she goes through especially as the fate of the world is on her shoulders. Jeremy Renner does a good job as a physicist with a dry sense of humor. Forest Whittaker is also great a the general who isn't a trigger-happy idiot but someone whose job is just to get answers in order to find the safest and most humane solution possible.
Arrival is a film that is more then just about language. It shows how divided we are as a species as each nation and culture interprets the alien's language in different meanings. And from this lack of clear understanding it creates fear and paranoia that could lead to global war. But Arrival shows that despite the mystery that surrounds the unknown, the future can be just as hopeful and bright as it might be scary and we should approach it with confidence.
This has proved Denise Villeneuve has range in genre as a director. I look forward to seeing him continue his work in the sci fi genre with Blade Runner 2.