Arrival Movie Review

A good science fiction movie isn’t even sci-fi at all. Or at the very least, not at its core, and “Arrival” is no exception.

Within this review, there is no plot summary or spoilers. It is merely a response to watching a compelling film with the hopes of persuading you to make it to the theaters.

The concept of language and linguistics has always interested me. Ironically, it’s hard to find the right words to fully encapsulate my experience with “Arrival.” Writing has always helped me make sense of the world, but here I am struggling to discern what I just watched. It’s a philosophical movie, a piece of art really, and a lot of what it’s trying to illustrate supersedes the motion picture itself.

The multitude of thoughts and emotions that came and went at a rapid speed throughout this otherwise slow-moving film was borderline mental. It’s “Interstellar” on crack. It’s a trip without taking acid. It’s both mind-numbing and awakening.

As soon as you begin to grasp what the movie is trying to hint at, it becomes just out of reach. It’s difficult to clutch onto something our minds can’t fully comprehend, and we simply don’t have the capacity to understand all of what happened. I mean, there are aliens, so it’s unrealistic, but the main themes rely on a sort of realism we are all too familiar with in day-to-day life. Needless to say, if you don’t like to leave the theater in a cloud of confusion, you should take a backseat for this one.

The bottom line is not a story of aliens occupying Earth, it’s a tale of barriers in language. It is so complex, so intriguing, and it’s the basis of all humanity. It serves as a powerful tool, as well as a weapon. The underlying message is that communication is the key for all worldly dilemmas, not physical combat.

Amy Adams is brilliant, the visuals are stunning and the soundtrack is foreboding. The emotional gut punch at the end was a tad unnecessary, but regardless, the Oscars are about to have a field day.

I’ve only got one thing to say: palindrome. Now go enjoy the journey and the emotions that will surely ensue at the close.