Arrival holds a heartwarming message


Released in 2016, Arrival is a highly thought-provoking movie. I had the opportunity to watch it over Thanksgiving break, and I slowly but surely came to appreciate this unexpectedly heartwarming film.

The movie is based on the 1998 short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang and is packed with mystery and emotion. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, twelve alien spacecrafts land on planet earth, each strategically placed in different locations around the world. Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is brought to one of the aliens’ ships to resolve how to communicate with them and what their motive for being there is before nations turn to war. While searching for these answers, Banks ends up finding the answers to her own personal questions as well and discovers what truly makes her human.

The plot of the film seemed to be simple, but the more I watched, the deeper it developed. At first, the plot of the movie could be described as just a typical sci-fi movie where aliens come to earth, and a smart person is needed to help figure things out. At this point, the movie had become boring and difficult to watch. As the movie continued, however, it became anything but predictable. The theme of the film expanded, and it transformed into more of a moving film about self-discovery and the importance of love as Banks recovers from the death of her sickly daughter.

The casting for this movie was so-so. Adams played her character pleasantly; however, her character seemed to be the type that could be fit better by another actress. Despite this, Adams’ skillful acting and powerful facial expressions captured an immense amount of emotion that made the movie spectacular. The supporting actors and actresses undoubtedly deserve commendation for their acting as well, as they contributed to the feeling of reality in the movie.

The cinematography of the film was absolutely phenomenal. The combination of the smooth transitions, beautiful scenery, and lovely music made it an absolutely stunning and captivating movie. The film skillfully plays with time and series of events and that can be confusing at times. When everything is revealed at the end of the movie, though, suddenly everything can be understood.

Although the movie was highly fictional, a very real and important message was carried throughout the film. It accurately depicted the how divided the world is, as every country approached and reacted to their own alien ship differently. After every nation taught their aliens how to communicate using basic words in different languages, different understandings and viewpoints arose, demonstrating how one’s culture, where one grew up, and how one grew up can influence people greatly.

I really enjoyed this movie, and I appreciated the message that it brought out. It demonstrated that there can be a deeper underlying meaning to what people have to say and that if we just take the time to listen and think, things can work out for the better. It also emphasized how we should live for the moment and cherish every part of life. If you’re looking for an interesting movie with some unexpected twists, I would certainly recommend Arrival.