Every now and then you get a movie that makes you think. You walk out with your mind spinning. You go home with your mind still trying to work it out. Days later you are still thinking about that single movie. That is Arrival.
Arrival is a sci-fi movie that dives deep into what it would be like if the Earth had an alien invasion. I know, it sounds like you have seen this hundreds of times, but usually those movies involve big guns and explosions. This is different. On a whole, this is an alien invasion story that we have never really had. The story of what first contact would be plays out as a really interesting plot that keeps you engaged from start to finish. The plot originated from a short story titled ‘Story of Your Life’ written by scientist Ted Chiang. With the short story winning several awards and Arrival already being thrown around as possible Oscar award, it’s safe to say that this is a great premise that they executed extremely well.
Overall, the performances were all amazing. There was not one member of the cast which I could point out as having a bad performance. Everyone from Jeremy Renner to Forrest Whitaker gave performances that should be considered for Oscars as supporting characters. The stand out though was Amy Adams. In my opinion, she is a shoe in for at least a nomination when it comes to Actress of the year at the Oscars. The way she was able to convey so much emotion and believability into this role considering most of her interactions came with an alien figure on the other side of a glass screen.
The pacing of the film is something that can either make or break how much you like this movie. There is no denying, this is a slow burn. You need to be prepared to strap yourself in and just consume what they are showing on the screen. I think the slow pace is a credit to the story they are telling. Without giving to much detail, through the film you follow the characters doing the complex task of having to translate this alien language. What the pacing does is reference the patients and time that the characters put into what they are doing. This story takes place over a series of months and through the pacing that plays out, you get to feel the slow progress that we are seeing on the screen.
Overall, I really liked this movie. When I walked out of it, I thought it was good, however, days later, this movie has gone from good, to great, to fantastic. This is a movie that must been seen. While I don’t think it may completely blow every single person away when they see it, but I think it should be put up there in that rare category of movies everyone must watch.