Thursday, 17 November 2016

'Arrival' Film Review

From the director of 'Prisoners', 'Enemy' and 'Sicario' comes the critically acclaimed sci-fi 'Arrival'. If we thought Villenneuve couldn't get any better, we were wrong.

12 mysterious spacecrafts land across the world, with each nation attempting to understand what they are, why they have come and what they want. 

'Arrival' tells the story of Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguistic expert, who is recruited by the government to communicate with the alien species. As tensions between the twelve countries mount, with China preparing for a military response, Dr. Banks makes a breakthrough that could change everything.

In Villeneuve's distinct style, 'Arrival' features many slow pans, featuring the rectangular light box as a visual theme, in Louise's home, in the alien spacecraft, in the decontamination chamber... the muted colour palette of the 'present' contrasts against the splendour of her colourful 'past', visual cues that begin to merge as the story unfolds, and the perception of time becomes non-linear.

Villeneuve explores the themes of time, language, identity and free will in a masterfully crafted narrative that begins with the tragic death of Louise's daughter, and using flashbacks and flashforwards, plays with the idea of non-linear time, especially right at the end.

Mirroring this, the alien circular glyphs explore a time-less and universal language, and explores the significance of language: how different languages changes thought patterns, how we learn language and its philosophies.

Despite the film's slow start, the film becomes extremely intriguing from the halfway mark till the end. It is a personal story, and becomes rather poignant at the end, when it asks the question "If we could see our whole life before us, would we change anything?" 

Amy Adams-Dr Louise Banks
Jeremy Renner- Colonel Weber
Forest Whitaker- Ian Donnelly

~~~OVERALL 9/10~~~
Denis Villeneuve wows us again with his multi-layered 'Arrival', a visually stylish exploration of time, language and free-will, in a non-typical sci-fi context. It is definitely up there along with 'Enemy' as one of my favourite films of his, and probably even one of the best films of the year.

1 comment:

  1. It's a movie I admire more than actually enjoy, but it's still well worth the watch. Nice review.


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