Talking in symbols: An Arrival Review.

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Rener, Forrest Whitiker, Michael Stuhlbarg.

I love sci-fi films, Arrival was never going to take much convincing for me to go watch. I went in with zero knowledge of the source material and little prior input of what to expect, it blew me away but that might not be the case for everyone.

The film’s premise concerns the arrival of 12 alien craft at random locations around the world that have stumped those that have tried to communicate with them as the aliens communicate in non-linear symbols. The U.S military enlist a linguistics professor to meet with the inhabitants of their craft to see if she can decipher their intent amidst growing military tensions threatening to erupt into conflict.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the man who brought us last years Sicario, this foray into science fiction shows that he is just as capable here as with tense crime-thrillers. He captures some absolutely stunning visuals and coaxes remarkable performances from the ever wonderful Amy Adams & Jeremy Renee.

The film wrestles with themes that are open to interpretation on the part of the viewer, some bordering almost on philosophical, the nature of our relationship with language and the importance of communication and the perils of communication breaking down. It also questions our perception of time and our place in the universe. It is a film that isn’t going to be for everyone, it presents itself without explanation, only towards the end spelling out, so to speak, what it trying to convey. At times it stumbles with its presentation of its lofty ideas but on the whole succeeds admirably as a thought provoking and intelligent piece of science fiction.

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