I saw Arrival and if you continue reading this be aware there are spoilers, but just so you know, it was amazing. It’s one of those movies that I’d actually pay to see again, which the friend who came with me did. At first I was outraged that he saw it and didn’t tell me but upon reflection I agreed that it was totally worth it. The ending had me feeling a bit disappointed [spoiler], mostly cause I wanted to know the problem the aliens would want solved 3000 years from now. But I blame that partly on getting too comfortable with the way films typically end.
The film ended with so many powerful realizations; Louise (Amy Adams) can see the future, the alien’s language allows you to view time differently and the aliens weren’t lost or evil. Yet it left me wondering, ‘Is that it?’ Surely, you’re going to tell us what all this studying was for? But then that’s the other part that I blame. I’m so used to working hard for some final goal that the lessons I learn along the way are hard to appreciate as the main focus. Lol, that’s school for you. Everything I’m doing is technically for a piece of paper and thanks to college the lessons are skills I can put on my resume, but they’re hard to appreciate when you’re in the middle of all that chaos just trying to graduate.
The real final goal was for the aliens to successfully teach the humans a new language and unite them so that they could help the aliens in the future. I guess I lost focus of that along the way and just wanted to know what their problem would be 3000 years from the time of the movie.
Anyway, alien movies are typically about humans helping aliens get home or humans just fighting aliens (heroism vs colonialism, which becomes heroism part II because it’s all about how humans, mostly guys, become heroes) that I couldn’t enjoy the fact that THEY JUST LEARNED A WHOLE NEW LANGUAGE WITH AMAZING ASS POWERS. With that said, Arrival went above and beyond the typical alien discourse. That includes the trippy af cinematography when they transfer from Earth to alien ship, the deep, heart-wrenching music that at times reminded me of the THX intro that still scares me and the details behind the design of the language.
Basically, Arrival made me see things differently. Get it?