Arts and Entertainment

Arrival Film Review

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Teegan Macleod, Staff Writer

Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is one of the most captivating films of the 21st century. From the very beginning, it takes ahold of you and does not let go for days after you’ve seen it.  Not since Christopher Nolan’s Inception have I been so rattled to my core by a film.  Arrival is the story of linguist Louise Banks (played by 5-time Academy-Award nominee Amy Adams) who is recruited by the government to aid in translating the language of an alien race whose spaceships have landed at various points around the globe.  She is paired with theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (played by 2-time Academy-Award nominee Jeremy Renner) who is interested in finding out the capabilities of the alien race, what technologies they have, and just how advanced they are.  Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg round out the cast as higher-ups Colonel Weber and Agent Halpern of the CIA respectively, whose jobs are only to find out what the aliens want, and if they are a threat to the human race.  Over the course of the film, Banks and Donnelly venture into the alien pod several times and communicate face-to-face with the aliens, building a relationship with them.  Banks develops a system of communicating with words paired with visuals and they begin to develop a vocabulary.  The same thing is happening at the other sites around the world that the aliens have landed at.  When the site in China goes dark and they prepare to attack their alien pod, many fear that they have learned something devastating that has dangerous implications for the rest of the world.The film is expertly directed by Denis Villeneuve who directed the movies Sicario, Prisoners, and Incendies.  Villeneuve’s power of storytelling does not lose steam even for a second with Arrival.  At it’s core, Arrival is a story of communication that will touch everyone who watches it in a unique way.

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