Arrival (2016) Short Review

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writters: Eric Heisserer  (based on a Ted Chiang’s story)
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

This movie was nominated for “Best Motion Picture of the Year”, “Best Achievement in Film Editing”, “Best Achievement in Sound Editing”, “Best Achievement in Directing”, “Best Adapted Screenplay”, “Best Achievement in Cinematography”, “Best Achievement in Production Design” and “Best Achievement in Sound Mixing” in the 2017’s Oscars.

Arrival is a somewhat fresh take on the sci fi and drama genres. It takes a common life story and turns it into the spotlight, using as background a world-changing situation. The shift on the focus, though, wasn’t enough to justify the extensively dragged rhythm that transpires through the great performances and well executed technical aspects.

mv5bmty1nzk4odc5ov5bml5banbnxkftztgwmja0ndq1mdi-_v1_sx1500_cr001500999_al_1Had the story been less contrasted between rapid development sequences and
slow, full minutes scenes, it would’ve felt less like a several-hours alien experience.   The script’s sensitivity, on the other hand, reminds us of the human condition – which remains unchanged even on the brink of an alien invasion: greed, union, miscommunication, fear, curiosity, compassion, etc.

Although the alien visitants were also a milestone reached after a great while, they delivered an inventive narrative system which kept the characters busy for a great while, supporting the movie. Nevertheless, the whole world seemed on hold while Louise (Amy Adams) sorted out their language and her own life, almost by herself.

The cinematography was astounding, with amazing camera intel by Bradford Young, conveying through simple shots very significant individual experiences. The score brought a great deal of emotion as well, muting and showing itself on the right amount. Arrival sets a different tone by arranging common elements, but still coming through as a slow-paced universe.

A shot: entering the spaceship

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