Review of Denis Villeneuve’s newest film about first contact
By Carter Bagley
Denis Villeneuve is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. In just a couple years he’s directed some incredible films of different genres like “Prisoners”, “Enemy”, and last years intense cartel thriller “Sicario”. Now his latest film “Arrival” might be his most masterful film yet. The film follows the main character of Louise, played excellently by Amy Adams, who’s a well known language professor and translator. One day mysterious ovular vessels arrive at various places 0n Earth and soon everyone goes into a panic about the arrival of exter-terrestrial beings. The government asks her to help them communicate with the aliens and soon some pretty big concepts are revealed. Jeremy Renner plays a theoretical physicist who is there to ask the aliens questions about why they came and what they seek here. Forest Whitaker is present as an Army Colonel who’s there to watch over and supervise the decisions of Renner and Adams’ characters. The real star of this film however is Villeneuve himself who does an extraordinary job at directing it. The visuals are stunning and the way the story is set up and told goes perfectly with the conclusion of it all. It might be the best directed film I’ve seen all year and as of right now I’d say he’s up for that category at the 2016 Academy Awards. Eric Heisserer’s screenplay is nearly perfect in the way he paced it and when and how he reveals information to the audience. This film isn’t going to be for everyone and even though it fared amazingly well with critics I think it might have a more split effect on audiences because it deals with a lot of high concepts and doesn’t deliver all the information. A lot of information is left for the audience to figure out on our own and some people won’t like that. The story is told slowly but steadily and reveals bits of information until it all makes sense at the very end. It has a lot to say about time and how we perceive it and also about humanity and how divided we are as a species. I truly think this film could go down as one of the sci-fi classics of my generation because it’s completely original and unique and it’s refreshing to see a big movie made with these kinds of ideas these days. This is a film that definitely deserves to be seen in theaters because it’s an amazing and satisfying theater experience. Overall “Arrival” is an intelligent, impressive and amazingly performed modern science fiction film that has a lot to say about the world and us. It’s also one of the best films I’ve seen to tackle that topic in recent years. After seeing this film I’m incredibly excited to see Villeneuve’s sequel to “Blade Runner” coming out next year, but in the meantime you should really check out “Arrival”, because it’s something special.