Arrival, the remarkable new Hollywood movie, starring Amy Adams is a bombastic Sci-fi blockbuster that is probably one of the few alien movies which is so deeply thoughtful and compassionate. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the movie is about trying to communicate with aliens and not about defeating them. The hero of the movie is its screenplay, penned by Eric Heisserer. Based on a short story by Ted Chiang titled ‘Story of Your Life’, Arrival is a masterpiece, that deserves to be rewarded.
This English Drama movie is very different from any other Alien movie we have seen so far. It is about an alien invasion on Earth and a linguist (played by Amy Adams) who can communicate with them. Louise Banks is a gifted linguist who is seen mourning for her daughter, who loses her life to a rare disease. Banks’ quiet life gets disturbed when 12 extraterrestrial “shells” appear all over the world. Soon, she is approached and requested by US Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) to use her skills and communicate with these aliens. She is accompanied by a mathematician named Ian (Jeremy Renner) in this mission. In the wake of mounting pressure from the U.S govt and a threat of a global war, Banks and Ian race against time to contact aliens and ask them one basic question, “What is your purpose on Earth”.
The screenplay of Arrival is so strong that even if Denis would have replaced the lead actors with any other Hollywood A-listers, the movie still would have made the same impact. Having said so, we are not undermining the superb performances of both the lead actors, Adams and Renner. Especially Amy Adams, who is the heart and soul of the movie. It is through her that we understand what the film is trying to say. She provides the emotional backbone to the script, which is certainly the USP of Arrival and makes it stand out in this genre. The movie has good VFX, but if you are going to the theatre just to watch some great VFX (which usually an alien movie boasts of), then you would be disappointed. VFX are very subtly used, wherever necessary.
Watch Arrival for its intelligent and intriguing screenplay coupled with a brilliant performance by Amy Adams. The film is certainly ambitious in conception but extraordinary in execution. It will make you ponder the co-relation between communication and human experience.