Arrival

Back on New Year’s Day my husband and I went to see “Arrival”.

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I had wanted to see the film since it came out in November but there had been so much going on during the holidays and so many other films to see during that time that we didn’t get around to it for nearly two months after it came out. I liked, but didn’t love, the film. Although I didn’t love it I felt it was a giant improvement from the film we had seen the day before, “Passengers”. Both films are sci-fi but beyond that they have little in common. “Passengers” was entertaining while you watched but left you with nothing but a sense of feeling a little dirty. Meanwhile, “Arrival” isn’t the most thrilling film to watch but it leaves you thinking afterward which makes it good in a very different way than so many other films.

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I many ways “Arrival” reminded me of 1977’s “Closer Encounters of the Third Kind” and 1997’s “Contact” in that it is a sci-fi film with a brain.

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On the surface “Arrival” is about a bunch of aliens arriving to earth and in that way it’s similar to 1996’s “Independence Day “ but this film is much deeper than that mid-90’s popcorn flick. “Arrival” digs deep and poses question about communication, language, and the way that different answers can be achieved based on the way questions are asked.

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The biggest concept the film plays with is time…Stop reading if you don’t want spoilers. The film takes the idea of time and turns it into a series of loops and circles and déjà vu rather than a straight line. This is something that I find very fascinating. We have all had the sense of déjà vu in our lives at one time or another and it has left us wondering about time and space. And we have all had days in our lives that seem to go on forever while other days seem to fly by. Why is that? “Arrival” takes the concept of times and makes us look at in a whole other way. It also takes the idea of pain and suffering and makes us realize that sometimes it is directly connected to joy and love. These are all ideas and concepts that still have me thinking a month a half later and that really does speak to the power of this film.

Much like the film itself the acting is good but it’s not going to blow you out of the water. As always Amy Adams is fantastic.

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The film lives and breathes by her performance and she brings the perfect amount of intelligence and humanity to her role. Jeremy Renner is also quite good in his role.

“Arrival” isn’t for everybody but in a certain sense that is exactly why people should see it. It’s not going to suck you in the way other films might but it’s going to stick with you after the credit roll and that is as valuable as any escapism popcorn film.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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