‘Arrival’ stands out among Denis Villeneuve’s oeuvre in its optimism and grand scale. Where Incendies, Prisoners and Sicario all inhabit a gritty bleakness, the Canadian director’s newest feature explores a world where problems are there to be solved and humanity can face the unknown, united.
Balanced with worries of global security, is the personal story of Amy Adams’ linguistics doctor and her plight to communicate with the new arrivals. Helped by Jeremy Renner the science boffin to discover the intentions of the visitors (although really, what does he do?), she must also try to make sense of her own demons. Amy Adams is superb, playing her character as a timid, yet determined, genius in her field. Christopher Orr of The Atlantic puts it perfectly – ‘This is precisely the kind of science-fiction movie, at once epic and intimate, that Interstellar tried (and failed) to be.’
Arrival is an intelligent, well-crafted and thought provoking science-fiction that realistically portrays how humanity might react in such a circumstance. Whilst the final 10 minutes ruled out any interesting ambiguity, the screenplay otherwise knows just which questions need answering and which are best left as mystery.
I cannot wait for Blade Runner 2049…
Verdict: 7/7 alien limbs