2016 · December · Films · Reviews

Film Review: ‘Arrival’

2016 | Directed by Denis Villeneuve | 3.5 feathers


One day, twelve spaceships (I don’t want to call them that because it’s not really what they are, but I don’t know what to call them instead) arrive on Earth, and linguist Louise Banks is hired to try to translate the aliens’ language and communicate with them.


I don’t usually watch or read that much science fiction, but this interested me enough to go watch it. Initially, I really liked it — it’s the type of SF that I usually like when I actually get around to it. Now that I finished it, though, I can’t decide.

It’s the ending that blew me off. It was too easy, somehow. The film had all this build-up, and then it ended, just like that. Was it really supposed to be that easy?

Also, it left me a bit confused. I’m not sure how much I can say without spoiling it, but it’s told on two different levels of time, and you don’t actually know what’s going on until the end. That’s what confused me. I actually had to do some googling when I got home, just to make sure I had gotten everything right.

This does feel like one of those films that would be really good to discuss with other people, just to see what they picked up on. It might also benefit from reading the novella it is based on and then rewatching the movie, just to see if you notice anything different than when you went into it blind the first time.


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