What happens when an alien race unexpectedly targets your home planet? Do you deem them the enemy and attack them at full force or do you make an attempt to communicate and understand them on a peaceful level? Surprisingly, Arrival does the latter and unlike other science fiction films of the same scope that typically opt for the first response, Arrival challenges the genre and gives audiences something fresh to look at. Here’s five reasons why you need to see Arrival, the science fiction film everyone’s talking about:
1. The characters are bad-ass in their own way
As time goes on, characters are becoming more and more admirable not for their physical strength or demeanor but by their realistic attributes, intelligence or vulnerability. Amy Adams plays Dr Louise Banks, a Linguist that is called in to communicate and understand the alien race and ask the all-important question: Why are you here?
What I loved about that film’s leading lady Louise, was that she was bad-ass in her own right and didn’t need to know how to wield a gun (for example) to make a powerful impact. These simple gestures that keep the characters on a realistic level (because not everyone knows hand to hand combat), provide the audience with strong and vulnerable characters they can relate too.
2. There isn’t a villain
Although the alien race is initially plastered as the villains of the story, it soon becomes known that this isn’t necessarily the case. In some sense we, and the characters, couldn’t be more wrong.
As information regarding this topic can easily be spoiled, I won’t go into this point any further and leave you to experience it in your own time. I personally found the approach around the topic of aliens and villains incredibly fascinating in Arrival and loved experiencing the ‘other’ side from a different perspective.
3. The narrative isn’t what it seems
With the amount of science fiction films that have graced our screens over the years, it’s easy to leave the cinema feeling as though you’ve seen it before. Whether the narrative is boring or the plot seems overused and uninspiring, I think all of us can admit this has happened to us on more than one occasion.
Arrival takes its audience on a journey you’d never think you’d end up on, especially for a film that involves an alien race. In Arrival, the narrative challenges it’s genre and forms emotional connections and relationships that are meaningful and purposeful. It also might leave you scratching your end after the final credits roll!
4. It questions humanity
We all at some point in our lives stop and ask ourselves: why are we here? Obviously, no one can give you a straight answer, but they can still theorize and form an opinion on the subject matter.
Arrival takes on the subject in its own compelling way by providing its audience with some of the most profound questions and theories around humanity. The film explores the beauty of humanity and never forces you to pick a side, instead molding it as the film’s key theme through subtlety and thoughtfulness.
5. Don’t judge the film by its trailer
I’m always curious as to why trailers have to alter a film so much that a lot the time it puts people off going to see it in the first place. If you, like me, watch a trailer for context but try not to use it as a tool for prejudgment, then you’ll perhaps understand where I’m coming from.
In spite of Arrival’s trailer being far better than most high budget films of today, it still distracts its audience from the real highlights. After a quick re-watch of the trailer, I noticed that it featured the generic dramatic moments such as explosions, guns and running. Don’t be put off by this. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye! It’s also good to mention that you don’t have to have to be an avid fan of science fiction to enjoy this film.
Whether you’ve seen Arrival at the cinemas already, are going to see it for another time or have no plans to see it, it’s easy to see why Arrival is on everyone’s radar. With the likes of Interstellar and The Martian, Arrival is a fine addition to science fiction films of the last 10 years.