This week we saw Arrival, the new film from the director of Sicario and the forthcoming sequel, Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve.
We had high hopes for this film as Sicario was one of our favourite films of last year, and we enjoy the Science Fiction genre. The fact that film was being compared to classics like Contact; Gravity and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This isn’t a popcorn Alien invasion film, the likes of this year’s Independence Day Resurgence, it doesn’t require you to leave your brain at the door, it wants you to get involved in its story.
12 Unidentified flying objects nicknamed Shells by the army(which social media have compared to Terry’s Chocolate Orange Segments =) have set up in places over the world. Their location, in the UK it’s over Devon, have no meaning, in
Their location, in the UK it’s over Devon, have no meaning, in fact, the only things they all have in common is Sheena Easton had a hit single there and a high increase of lightning strikes but nothing significant.
Now to go too much into the storyline would ruin the film and give too many spoilers, so briefly the UFO’s do not attack and allow the various countries military to make contact.
We follow the U.S. military led by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) who have not made any progress in finding out why the craft and its inhabitants are here.
Weber appoints Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a highly qualified linguist, who has used her skills in translation to help him before.
Louise initially turns down the role, as they were not prepared to let her attend the site, only give her recordings of the 2 creatures that have been named Heptapods.
Eventually, Weber knows Louise is best for the job and agrees to her terms. She teams up with a theoretical physicist called Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to lead the 2 teams to communicate with the 2 creatures, which they name Abbott and Costello.
The creatures communicate using symbols, but because of the complexity of their language, means a single symbol can not be excluded or it may confuse the sentence.
This becomes particularly clear when a translation turns out to show the word ‘Weapon’ which clearly sets many of the other countries, who had been working together, to panic, and break communication.
Louise tries to figure out the meaning of the message, whilst being haunted by memories of her deceased daughter.
When China announces it is to attack the shells, it becomes a race against time to find out the real message that these aliens have for the human race!
This really is a powerful film about communication, themes are prominent, from family to fear of the unknown and overcoming your fears.
The cast who are excellent, in particular, but not unexpected, is Amy Adams, it’s incredible to think she has been nominated 5 times for an Oscar and never won, surely 2016 will end this run!
The film, adapted by Eric Heisserer from the short story by Ted Chiang, called ‘Stories of your life’ is truly one of the year’s must-see films, we loved it!
Have you seen Arrival? What is your favourite Amy Adams film? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
Watch the trailer at the film’s website here:
You can buy a compilation of Ted Chiang’s work including the short story the film was based on here:
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