Review: Arrival

Ooh ooh ooh! I’m so excited writing this review because this is one of the best Sci-Fi movie after Interstellar.I wasn’t plan to watch Arrival this Sunday because after a series of great Sci-Fi movies (especially space alien genre), starting with Gravity (2013), Interstellar (2014), The Martian (2015), I was afraid that Arrival won’t amaze me.

But it still does! And what makes Arrival unique is that this film focuses on linguistics rather than all-out war, and it’s an ambitious story with something to say about how we relate to each other and the world.

Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when humongous spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.

Arrival offers a very realistic look at what might happen if we meet aliens, but it’s required for properly displaying the monumental effort that it took to learn how to communicate even on a basic level with the aliens. Amy Adams is so good that her performance alone would be enough to carry most films.

But I really want to highlight the writing:

This film begins with slow paced but beautiful shot, effectively establishes who Louise Banks is and then we dive into a quiet, personal stories that has wide-reaching implications. These side stories and backfill lend to the artsy tone of the movie, though later they are revealed to be much more important to the narrative, and not just a development of a character study. This later reveal of the grander tapestry of the film gives it a firm position in the sci-fi genre. The ending really fucking beat me over the head with everything I already knew.

The art of storytelling with lots of time jumps to knit the story together is definitely a risky strategy – if you’re not Quentin Tarantino or Chris Nolan – this is typically a pit which may end up confusing audiences if not done right. But my hats off Denis Villeneuve – he does literally everything right in his approach. The film takes the exact right amount of time for just about everything; building up the characters in past, future and present while laying out the stakes and conveying the challenges of getting the message right from the our friends from outer space.

Arrival is both thought-provoking and deeply emotional, the kind of film that you could think about for hours after, something you could argue over with your friends for hours. And if none of your friends have seen it, well then I’d bet that there’s already hundreds of ‘Arrival story explained’ videos out there, just waiting for your comment. It’s a real ‘thinker’. I already collecting Easter eggs and some explanation of some subtle parts of the movie, and can’t wait to tell people about it.

Though not a blow-em-up space alien feature, Arrival, is well worth a look.


Sudah mau tiga puluh tapi tetap lucu kinyis-kinyis. Kinyis-kinyisnya sudah mutlak, lucunya masih dalam tahap diusahakan.

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