Hi everyone, Bryan here…
Not to be confused with ‘The Arrival‘ with a young Charlie Sheen, although both of these films involve visitors from another planet, the simply titled ‘Arrival‘ takes the alien invasion genre into paths that we’ve never traveled down before. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Enemy, Prisoners, Sicario), instead of giant cities falling to the ground and millions of people disintegrating into thin air by a laser beam, ‘Arrival‘ follows the path of two people who want to find a way to communicate with the new aliens that have seemed to land at twelve different locations on planet Earth. Set in present day, multiple giant alien spacecrafts land on Earth, where the governments around the globe put their best and brightest on the job to try and communicate with the new visitors.
Stateside we have Louise (Amy Adams) and brilliant mathematician Ian (Jeremy Renner) teaming up with the army led by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) to actually go inside the spaceship and try and communicate with the aliens by trying to learn their language and writing. Of course, the ultimate goal of almost everyone on Earth is to find out two questions from the aliens, which are “Why they are here and What do they want?” Over the course of several months, Ian and Louise communicate with basic language skills with the aliens in order to try and figure out why these twelve spaceships have landed on Earth.
Villeneuve always gives an honest look at how we might react to this, by sprinkling the backgrounds with news pundits covering looting and politicians giving their two cents in. The real underlying story is with Louise and the loss of her young daughter to cancer, which we find out in the first scene of the film. Her coping and flashbacks to her daughter play a key role in moving on with life and trying to find an answer as to “Why”. The film goes down a brilliant rabbit hole as to why the visitors are here on Earth and what their intentions are.
There is a mix of senses that Villeneuve and writer Eric Heisserer incorporate throughout ‘Arrival’ that plays to your pleasures and fears on a very emotional level. You won’t see burned buildings or people running and screaming or even the White House being blown to bits here. Instead, you will get an excellent and very original take on the alien invasion that has a ton of heart and soul with some grounded, yet excellent performances by everyone involved. This is one of the top sci-fi films in a long time.