Arrival, a movie review

A movie review written by: Lee Sonogan

(2016) 1h56min/ Drama, mystery, sci-fi

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This movie stars the actors Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. Released in late 2016, with a budget of 47 million, it grossed over 157 million at the box office. The story is about 12 mysterious spacecraft appearing around the world. A linguistics professor is tasked with the language of the apparent alien visitors. The original name for the film was “Story of Your Life.” However, test audiences did not like the title, and therefore, it was changed to Arrival. A creative film that does the sci-fi genre justice.

“Dirty Sci-fi,” is what director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Bradford Young called the look they created together for Arrival. Villeneuve wanted it to feel like “This was happening on a bad Tuesday morning, like when you were a kid on the school bus on a rainy day and you’d dream while looking out the window at the clouds,”. Denis Villeneuve and the writing team took extensive efforts to ensure the movie’s scientific ideology was accurate. Renowned scientist and tech innovator Stephen Wolfram and his son Christopher Wolfram were consulted to ensure all terminology, graphics and depictions were sound.

Ted Chiang, who wrote the novella the film is based upon, approved the film, saying, “I think it’s that rarest of the rare in that it’s both a good movie and a good adaptation… And when you consider the track record of adaptations of written science fiction, that’s almost literally a miracle,”. The film’s composer, Jóhann Jóhannsson, stated he started recording the score before the movie had even started filming, and he and the director like to work on the music as the director’s films are being made.

This move was reviewed very well by many people and groups. IMDB rated it 8.3/10. Starting this movie I was going in with high expectations. First of it is an original story for an alien invasion story. Never thought a translation of a language would create such interest in the overall story. Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner do a good job acting in this film but, Amy Adams steals the show in the main lead. I would even say that Arrival is the best ever film I have seen her in. A real strong story with well-developed scenes. The ending concludes with a somewhat happy ending and a clear twist you do not see coming. I recommend this film to people who like Sci-fi and interesting stories about other life forms. This movie is definitely worth a watch.


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