Today is #AlienDay, and what better way to celebrate than review one of the best alien films I’ve seen to date… Arrival.
Yes, I actually have a penchant for alien films. I’ve seen most. and have got to say ‘Attack the Block’ was also good.
The story of Arrival:
Basically, Louise Banks is a lecturer who is enlisted to help investigators make sense of the phenomenon and decode the aliens’ language.
The mysterious spacecraft lands in her city, and it’s up to her and the rest of the team to piece together the reason for the spacecraft’s landing, and what it that the aliens want. Although stations across the world and transmitting reports that state the aliens want war, and to attack… Louise follows her instinct and believes otherwise. It’s up to her to prove their innocence before it’s too late. Obviously she was extremely nervous to begin with, but then she befriends the aliens and makes an alliance with them. They begin trusting her. She ends up decoding their language, and understanding what their visit is in aid of.
You’ll have to watch the film to find out, I don’t do spoilers.
However, although the film is focussed on the aliens, there’s another weird, underlying storyline that caught my eye, and will catch yours when you watch it. The film begins with Louise, a mother, playing the role of the doting mother. Her daughter later tragically dies of a terminal illness (with her father nowhere to be seen).
Louise is a linguistics lecturer at the Massachusetts University at the time when bizarre things start happening in her town… Shortly after weird stuff start happening, as I mentioned above, she learns that 12 extraterrestrial spacecrafts have landed across the Earth – one of which is in her town. U.S. Army colonel G.T. Weber turns to Louise and physicist Ian Donnelly to find out what caused this.
Louise and Donnelly successfully make contact with two seven-limbed aliens (which Ian nicknamed Abbott and Costello) aka “heptapods”.
Louise, being a linguistics expert, discovers their written language of complicated circular symbols and begins to unscramble them. The more proficient she becomes, the more vivid her visions of the future (to us, the audience) but past (to her, in the film) with her daughter and of their relationship with the absent father. The reason for the father’s absence later becomes clear at the end of the film. Trust me when I say – if you’ve seen it, you’ll know… If you haven’t, watch it, because it’s shocking!
During the investigation, Louise and Ian develop a bond, and an attraction. It’s clear for the viewers to see – but nothing happens right away. Somehow, they end up together, like we knew they would…
Although it’s centred on aliens, there’s a story there about devotion, the sixth sense, and the ability to predict the future. There’s risk involved, and sometimes, taking risks means losing things/people. Would you take a risk?
All in all it’s a great film. I’m not going to lie, I’ve only watched it once and I remembered leaving the cinema in shock and confusion. However, it’s such a great film that after a short amount of pondering, it really puts things into perspective and you realise that it did in fact make sense.
I loved it, and I reckon you would do after watching it, if you haven’t already.
Side note: Ian was the late daughter’s dad. Louise and Ian embarked on a relationship, and her daughter was the by-product.