“Arrival” Arrives in Your Brain

Release Date:Nov/11/2016
DirectorDenis Villeneuve
Cast:Amy Adams、Jeremy Renner
Viola's Rating:8.7

After costarring in “American Hustle” which earned ten Academy nominations including all four acting categories (but didn’t win any), one of the four acting nominees, Amy Adams, cooperated with the Oscar nominated “Hawkeye”, Jeremy Renner, once again in their latest feature film “Arrival”.
Adapted from Ted Chiang’s 1998 short story and novella “Story of Your Life”, this dramatic, mysterious sci-fi thriller describes the scenario when twelve enigmatic spacecraft appear around the world; Louise Banks (Amy Adams) who is a linguistics professor is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors along with her partner, Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), a physics researcher.

“Arrival” is not a typical sci-fi that merely tells a story about outer space or things that don’t exist in the real world, but it discusses the difference between languages and science. We all know that language is the foundation of communication, but what the origin of civilization and culture is, language or science? With Louise and Ian’s different expertise, the audience gets to ponder about their strength and how they complement each other.
Some people argue that with such amazing soundtrack, the reason why “Arrival” couldn’t even get nominated for “Best Original Score” is that it uses British composer Max Richter’s piece “On the Nature of Daylight” as opening and closing. This track was used in many films such as “Disconnect” (2012), “Shutter Island” (2010), “Stranger than Fiction” (2006), “The Face of an Angel” (2014) and “The Innocents” (2016).
However, the brilliant sound effect of the flick gets “Arrival” an Oscar win with “Best Achievement in Sound Editing”. It creates an edgy ambience in the “shell”, the spacecraft the main characters have to enter to figure out the purpose of the Heptapods’ coming. Also, the simulation of the alien speaking has a special charisma that gives the protagonists an urge to interpret this foreign language that nobody on earth has ever heard. With both curiosity and fear of something unknown, Louise and Ian “peel the shell” little by little”.
It’s a pity that “Arrival” only got one Academy Awards while it received 6 nominations. Instead of touching you as “La La Land”, “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” do, “Arrival” tries to get its audience to think about real communication.
Like many other novel based motion pictures, “Arrival” attracts moviegoers who are bookworms as well to read the original adaptation. Since the movie was nominated for “Best Adapted Screenplay”, reading the book itself brings you back to the shell with Louise and Ian to interact with the Heptapods. Although not the best picture of the year, “Arrival” definitely arrives in your brain.
Photo Credit: IMDb


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