Arrival Is a Thoughtful Movie Masterpiece That Will Leave You Astonished

by Caleb Engle


Although Denis Villeneuve’s newest movie Arrival is a science fiction film, it remains a dialogue driven masterpiece that craftily explores thought provoking concepts.

At first, Arrival is mainly about two things: how the world would react to the arrival of an alien species, and how we would figure out a way of communication with them. But as the plot progresses and the twist of the movie is fully introduced, these two concepts become nothing but child’s play, and Arrival begins to truly mess with your head.

Amy Adams showcases her superb talent as an actress in this film. Emotions and reactions are key tools that Villeneuve uses in Arrival to help guide the viewer through his complex film, and both Adams and Jeremy Renner do a fantastic job at expressing these things. The smallest adjustments in Adams’ facial expressions seem to become more and more distinct as the movie progresses. When in reality, it is the viewer’s awareness of the expressions that further the development of her character.

Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, whom Villeneuve has used before is his films Sicario and Prisoners, does a magnificent job in producing an eerie score that dramatically portrays the feelings of mystery, fear and amazement that both the protagonist and viewer experience. Cinematographer Bradford Young also accomplishes this same feat through shots that range from daunting to awe-inspiring.

Arrival is not only a beautiful movie with great dialogue and a great score. It manages to challenge your thoughts with completely new ones that you never see coming, changing both the way you experience a movie, and the idea of experience itself. In Arrival, theoretical concepts are met with philosophical issues, and the end result will surely blow you away.

Senior Jack Chavez had some positive things to say about the movie. “[Arrival] did a really good job at telling the story through Amy Adams’ perspective,” said Chavez. “The best part about the movie was the storyline. It’s not like other alien films because it’s not as much about the aliens as it is about the human race, and how we would respond to alien life. Although it has a very complex plot, I did not think it was that confusing.”

Senior Ethan Welty plans to see the film this weekend, and said “I’m really excited to see Arrival. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it.”

When asked about whether he thought a movie would be able to accurately portray how humanity would react to an alien encounter, senior Quinn Cavanaugh said, “I think the possibilities in this universe are arbitrary, so it’s hard to say. Who knows how life on other planets is, and what their motives to leave and come here are? It is almost impossible to tell, so I feel it might be pretty difficult to ‘accurately depict’ an encounter.”