Different film genres have different clichés attached to them; comedy is hard, old horror films were great. Arrival is science fiction, and science fiction covers so many different things that we avoid similar basic prejudices. But since science fiction always assumes something from the future, it also divides viewers between those who find it believable and those who don’t.
There’s been some great science fiction films lately, like Interstellar. And some find Gravity good too. Ex Machina, Her and the new Mad Max were also definitely worth watching, even if they were completely different type of films.
Denis Villeneuve is a relatively new director but he had definitely shown his strengths in the short span of time making films. The atmosphere and premise of Arrival is stunning, the visuals amazing, and direction of the actors is superb.
Arrival is slightly slow, and the structure of the film (for obvious reasons after watching the film) is slightly confusing and might warrant a second viewing even. There seemed to be some minor inconsistencies in the plot, or maybe it’s just me. I’ll definitely put this on my list of films to watch a second time. A feeling like after watching Memento, or Fight Club. Not so much Sixth Sense.
Just like Denis Villeneuve, Amy Adams really is worth mentioning again, as she also starred in the completely different type of masterpiece, The Nocturnal Animals, released almost at the same time with Arrival. Hopefully will add review for The Nocturnal Animals soon to the site as well.
While always trying not to actually say much about the film itself, those of you reading this and who have not heard anything else about the film, just know that this is not one of those science fiction action films. If that’s the kind of entertainment you’re looking for, maybe check out Passengers instead (I have not seen it yet, but if I do, I will let you know my thoughts on it too).