movie review: Arrival

Okay another movie I put off watching and I wonder now why. A bit slow but still an amazing film. This is a first contact film with a lot of meaning. There was one spot where I went, oh wow Lois Lane meets Hawkeye, but this has no undertones of comic book here.

In this film the aliens show up in these shell ships, twelve of them that arrive around the planet. Teams are sent in to discover what they want. What is interesting is that the teams are made up of not just scientists and military foks but of world class linguists.

It is the team sent to Montana that is the focus of this film. So we learn much about Amy Adam’s character through what we think of as a series of flash backs. It looks like she has a child who grows up and dies of some horrible disease but she has more happy, wonderful memories of the time she had with her daughter than the utterly sad ones of her death.

In between she spends time trying to decypher the hetapods language. Which is incredible. The Aliens are seven limbed creatures who speak in an interesting language. While humans cant understand the sounds they make the ‘written’ language is a series of spirals, each enough different that after a few months she is able to put together a database of how to talk to them.

It is interesting that each country finds different ways to communicate with the aliens and the different schools of thought. The biggest issue in the movies comes from the one word that most take to mean weapon but could just as easily be tool.

Of course there is a good ending but the tension that builds up is worth it all along with the very interesting reveal of what those dreams and visions really are.

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