When I woke up this morning, I didn’t want to think about much of anything. I just wanted to go to the show and do one thing – forget about the post-presidential election insanity.
So I picked Arrival to help solve my doldrums, and now as I sit here writing about the movie, my brain hurts. As I said, I didn’t want to THINK! If you’re going to see this movie, don’t bring your 3-D glasses, bring your thinking cap because you’re going to need it.
Arrival means they arrived. You know, those aliens we’ve been waiting for since H. G. Wells wrote War of the Worlds. After twelve strange crafts position themselves around the world in various countries, the one question looms in the minds of everyone. What is your purpose coming to planet earth? Of course in order to ask that question, the two parties need to communicate. Have they arrived to help, visit, or destroy the human race?
If you’re looking for action, stay home. If you’re looking for a somber, as well sometimes depressing flick, this is for you.
Enter Louise Banks, played by Amy Adams. Louise is a linguistic specialist. The movie begins (after nine – count them nine – I kid you not – movie trailers) on a depressing note of death, with her beautiful young daughter dying at an early age. Louise can barely function through her grief until the arrival of spaceships across the globe. Because she’s the best, the military seek her out to help communicate with the beings from another world.
The story is slow, and the sun barely shines in any shot. In fact it’s very gray in tone and scenery, so you may need a shot of Vitamin D afterward. There are multiple flash backs in the movie. Be prepared to be hopping from past, present, and future. Louise Banks never smiles, except when she reminisces about time with her daughter. In the here and now, though, she is focused on the beings in the ship and saying hello.
I have no idea who comes up with these interpretations of what aliens should look like. These are a bit like octopuses in their shape, which always makes me question their fine motor skills in order to build the technology they come up with in these films. But who am I to judge if someone doesn’t have fingers or toes?
So why are they here? Well, if I told you that it would spoil it for my readers. All I can say is that it tries to bring to its audiences an emotional tale of life, loss, and the future. It didn’t take me into a forgetful frame of mind about our current state of riots and unrest on planet earth since there were similar scenes of the world gone crazy.
I would have preferred to see some alien from the original The Day the Earth Stood Still arrive on earth and tell the humans to get their act together or else. I feel like we need a good chewing out by an advanced race on about how we appear to the rest of the universe. You’ll get none of that in the Arrival, so I’ll leave you with these thoughts to get my point across.