Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O’Brien.
Directed By: Dennis Villeneuve
With 8 Oscar nominations at this year’s Academy awards, “Arrival” won in just one category for Best Achievement in Sound Editing. This rare sci-fi film is adapted from Ted Chiang’s short story “The Story of Your Life.” Most sci fi films have shown aliens visiting the Earth numerous times and there is nothing new about it. But “Arrival” probably puts the story one step further and explains what the extraterrestrials intent is all about.
The film opens with over a dozen spherical metal crafts zooming past in various parts of the world. No one really knows what they want and how they have suddenly appeared. The military and scientific elite of the planet are assembled to discover whether the visitors are friends or foe.
We then move over to the American site of Montana, where we find a gigantic spaceship in the middle of a barren field. The United States military headed by Colonel Weber (Whitaker) has recruited Louise Banks (Amy Adams) a linguist, to help decipher the symbolic language of the alien species who have come to be known as the Heptapods. Louise takes the help of Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) a mathematician, to visit the spaceship along with a core team to decode sounds that could be alien speech.
With repeated visits to the spaceship, Banks begins to gain a deeper understanding of the Heptapod’s language. In doing so she begins to suffer visions of herself with her daughter. It begins with her daughter’s death, then flashes through key moments in their lives together.
With the help of placards, Louise tries to converse with the aliens to uncover their true intent, as other countries studying them begin to view them as hostile and make plans to attack them. Louise has to use caution to avoid any such attack from any country, before the aliens not only threaten her life, but also destroy humanity.
“Arrival” has good computer graphics, sound blasts at the right time and a colorful palette.
— Verus Ferreira