Modern science fiction stories do not make attempt at representing scientific and technological advancement. Like “Interstellar”, “Logan”,” Inception”, “Gravity” It makes an attempt to deal with the impact of actual or imagined science upon individuals. Equipped with a marvellous screenplay by Eric Heisserer, and based on a short named “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang titled ‘Story of Your Life’, director Denis Villeneuve creates an absurd, freakish atmosphere where he portraits how individuals react when something terrific, enthralling happens.
The movie starts with this colossal incident when Linguistics educator Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators which has another physicist Ian Donnelly(played by Jeremy Renner) when gargantuan spaceships touch down 12 locations across the world. As nations dangle on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew raced against time to find a way to communicate with the extra-terrestrial visitors and understand their motive to come world. Hoping to unknot the mystery, she took a chance which led her to the verge of life-threatening situation and quite possibly all of mankind.
Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, the leads of the movie delivered measured performances and Adams portraited a poignant image that provides the base of the emotional backbone to the storyline. A personal tale of Dr. Louise and her daughter is depicted in the movie. But the tale could have seemed inappropriate or even silly. But Adams and Villeneuve acted beautifully and made it worthy. Adams, her face a portrait of conflicting emotions, was simply stellar and a performance of stunning grit and grace. Without her, Arrival might be too nerdish to watch up to. With her, the film gets inside our head and unfolds as something epic and intimate, a linguistics odyssey of space and time. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of. The shared heartbeat between extra-terrestrial visitors is reflected in the haunting score by Jóhann Jóhannsson. This score in the background was a enthralling experience. Arrival is able to put forth nerving-cracking, creepy experience out of a storyline based on neuroscience and linguistics, but its score is the major reason why that worked out.
The story written by horror screenwriter Eric Heisserer (famous for movie, Lights Out) unfolded slower than we expect from an extra-terrestrial invasion or sci-fi film. But the film clearly depicted the idea how language can shapes reality. The film’s premise swivels on this idea, shared by many linguistics professors and philosophers of language, that we all do not experience the same reality. The pieces of it are the same as we live on the same planet, breathe the same air, but our perceptions of those pieces haul and change based on the words and grammar we use to describe them to ourselves and each other. But the climax scene of Hannah and Louise that the moments were from the future and not the past was quite a revelation.
The movie is a bit risky, showy movie that wobbles a bit. It concludes on a different note from the linguistic one — which was more related to loss and a pensive question about life and risk. Also the emotional punch at the ending is lessened a bit as it felt a little bit rushed. But this is an thrilling movie, with a great performance by Amy Adams making it one of the unmissable films to watch.