Arrival: movie review

🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)

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i could have enjoyed Arrival (directed by Denis Villeneuve)  more- if i’ve been more contemplative, if i had been alone, if i had gone to the movie theatre to see it. but instead i watched it on my laptop, and so one aspect of it really stood out to me- its quiet energy.

it’s a story about aliens and humanity, but the story focuses on a much more personal journey. we meet the main character, linguistic professor Louise (Amy Adams), a quiet, calm and soft-spoken person. she keep having “visions” of her and a little girl. then aliens land on earth, and Louise joins a group of scientists to try to communicate with the aliens. the stake of their mission gets higher and higher- a global war seemed very probable. while Louise is trying to save the future of mankind, she also finds out more about her own future.


like i said, i think it would have been more exciting if i had seen it in the movie theatre. this is a sci-fi story with no BOOM, CRASH and mind-blowing shots of outer space. it deals with grief, communication and peace. messages are conveyed in things unsaid: when all you can hear is Louise’s breathing, when the aliens are silently writing in their own language.  at the risk of sounding supremely emo, this movie is about understanding from what you don’t understand.

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for some reason, when i think of Arrival, i think of morning mist. it’s mellow and subdued, but it is also drenched in emotions and thoughts.

the only thing i didn’t like about the movie is it’s almost too deliberately quiet. i’m usually not one to complain about pace, but it is too slow in the middle. it is too sober that the plot-twist and revelation don’t come with as much pizazz as it deserves. 

is Interstellar better?

some say that Arrival has achieved what Interstellar aspired yet failed to be, i believe the opposite. both reflective and personal, Arrival needs a bit more heat and action. i’m not saying it should resort to space battles and stuff, but it could have been a bit more lively and use a tad less control- after all, it’s a movie about humanity and raw emotions that make us what we are.

"Story of Your Life" Day 37 Photo: Jan Thijs 2015


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