Arrival – 5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

arrivalArrival – 5/5 – There are times when you go to theater with a thought of knowing what you’re going to see.  No matter the preexisting thought of genre; the purity of a film is to be surprised.  When you sit down and experience something that is unexpected; you will have one of two reactions:

  1. Be amazed at what you have just seen on the big screen
  2. Be disappointed by the bait and switch tactic that occurred

There is something to be said to having some kind experience from that unexpected feeling.  That is what you get for a film like Arrival.  Billed as a Sci-Fi Thriller; this films delves deeper than you would initially expect.  From the wonderful acting to the immensely superb script; Arrival is one of the most amazing, outstanding and original Sci-Fi films I have seen in a long time.  I can definitely say this is in contention (for me) as one of the best films of the year.

Premise:  With the arrival of unknown beings, a linguistic professor is brought in to translate the alien’s language.  What she comes to find is true purpose of living on earth.

In the lead role of Dr. Louise Banks is Amy Adams.  As the lead of this film, Adams does a masterful job in setting the tone, heart and purpose for things to come.  She exudes true talent when it comes to the overall character development.  As the main point of contact between the humans and aliens, you find someone that is charming in her own intellect, but harden by personal thoughts.  Within that depth, she parallels this with meaningful interactions she has with the aliens.  This hardens her approach, allowing for precision and determination in finding peaceful answers.  It is a complexion of simplistic fervor, one that pushes a character to become more than just an important part of the story.  Adams exudes an aura of true humanistic complexion.  Her approach goes beyond general characterization; one that shows meaningful blend of smarts with the heartiness of an emotional accord.  The subdue nature helps for the slow development of her psyche.  This allows for the audience to see what she sees in context to one point of view.  It is simply amazing, one that garners Oscar attention.  With the rest of the secondary cast, it is filled with a lot of known names.  There are many (which you can refer to at the IMDb page), but the notable two are:

Jeremy Renner as Ian Donnelly

Forest Whitaker as Colonel Weber

These two actors portray the same kind of humanistic overtures as the lead role.  Along with the rest of the supporting cast, it is some of the best overall acting I have ever seen.  What you see is a complete and total immersion of their specific personalities within the story at hand.  It is an enrapturing tale, allowing for the Sci-Fi elements to become realistically and lively.  There is softness in their interactive approach, allowing for subtlety to take a hold and dialogue to be honest and open.  There is no intent to go overboard with the archetypes that each of them are built off of.  It is just an aspect of true acceptance; allowing for everyone to become an important part of the film.  This allows for real influence beyond the common plot points.  It is also one of the rare times where the interactions between the humans and fictionalized creatures are completely significant.

The direction is just as wonderful as the acting.  What you have (in this film) is a very creative but somber approach to story development.  What this allows is for originally to breathe life in the general concept of Sci-Fi; pushing a refreshing feel towards a fictionalized scenario.  There is a ‘live by approach’ starting point; where the characters are thrust into uncharted territory and must use genuine thought to figure out everything.  From the introduction, you have the ‘arrival’ of unknown beings.  Caught in an unlikely event, Dr. Louise Banks is enlisted by the military to find a way to communicate with these alien creatures.  Being a highly sought after linguistic professors, her skills are important to finding out the questions of ‘Who they are?’ and ‘Why are they here?’  From here, the film delves slowly with its somber approach.  What happens is that the script dictates the actuality of events; allowing for all the characters (humans and aliens) to develop through an organic mantra.  There is no traditional sense of the three acts, it is all just a one note effect of a ‘life changing’ event happening with everyone just trying to figure out what to do.  This allows for two things

  1. The characters to be thoroughly develop
  2. For the world to become a part of the story

This approach is one that the director takes head on.  This allows for methods to be unpredictable; while allowing for the story to become raw and vigorous through an ironically subtle touch.  It is a very slow methodical approach, one that is unheard for any kind of Sci-Fi film.  By taking this approach, it furthers the expositional elements to become true, interaction to become honest, and the story/characters to grow together.  It blends the fantastical with realistic seamlessly through total immersion.  You find the story to be pristine, intense, awkward and prudent.  As you move through and watch the group of humans (lead by Dr. Banks) to find out the answers, there is never any unhinging of the tone or pace.  Another wonderful aspect that is thrust is the aspect of ‘time’.  There are some unexplained scenes that happen that forces the predictable nature of storytelling to become a guessing game.  There is a puzzling of both the audience and main character.  Even for this technique being used, the puzzle pieces come together definitely.  You see the purposeful intent to communicate and the ambiguity of the ‘dreams’ the main character has in her solidarity like moments.  There is a thematic tone of fear with embracement, trying to learn ‘cultures and language’ while staying steadfast in finding the truth.  This helps imbue strength in the human element for both sides (Earthlings and the Aliens).  The climax builds on the heights of the character development, allowing for all the unanswered question to become meaningful.  It gives the audience a sincere aspect of the script.  As the epilogue rolls, you see as the characters move on, the strength of the overall story evolves into a flawed notion of honest convictions.  It is unique to find a connection this way, but it shows true talent when everything feels as if you’re there.

The visuals are some of the most amazing stuff you will ever see.  There is a true creative touch within the cinematography because of the simplistic aura combined with CGI elements.  With an aspect of keeping focus prudent to the story, there is a commonality to the approach of real life locations used with the CGI creation of the spaceships and creatures.  You see that organic notion to everything that happens, keeping all the important parts contained and focused.  The raw aesthetic allows for believable thought.  This pushes a forward context of complete immersion of the overall world.  The score is a resounding strength to the film.  The score is very seldom use, but that helps bring an impression of raw emotions.  The music is ominous and brooding, allowing for the fragile sense of openness and fear to become one with either side of the contact (humans and aliens).

Arrival is by far one of the best films of the year and one of the best Sci-Fi films I’ve seen in a while.  There is so much here for anyone to enjoy.  I say go to the theater, this is worth the full price of admission.

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