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'Arrival' film review

'Arrival' film review

The word 'arrival' can mean many things. In this case, it means giant ships descending from the skies. 'Arrival' stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner and directed by Denis Villeneuve. I'm minimising what I say about the plot of this film as it really is better to go in blind for this film, but I will give the general outline. 'Arrival' follows Louise Banks, played by Adams, a linguistics expert who is called upon to aid a team of investigators when twelve shell-shaped UFOs land on Earth. Banks has to attempt to establish effective communication to determine the aliens' purpose on Earth before the government does the usual thing that suspicious humans do in most of these types of films i.e. blow it out of the sky. 

This film is the kind that your friend will push you to see but you'll be like "mm, not really sure". Trust your friend. Go and see this film. It is utterly breathtaking and I have not been this blown away by a film in a long time (for the record, the last film was 'The Martian' back in late 2015). The cinematography is incredible and the directing is fantastic. It is visually beautiful as a film and the directing made every little detail feel grounded and real, despite the use of the abstract throughout the film. The story itself is inspired and it came together quite brilliantly at the end with a twist.

Most critically, this is a really smart film. It was engaging and clever and I honestly never knew what would happen next. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat whilst the mysteries explored in the story kept me questioning and thinking the whole way through. In this way, this leads to the only proper criticism that I have regarding this film. Due to its complexities, I feel like if I had left the film or had zoned out at any moment, I would immediately be confused when I returned. However, this is also one of its key strengths as missing a moment would stop you enjoying this film as it was just that engaging. 

Louise Banks (Amy Adams) attempts communication with the aliens.

Louise Banks (Amy Adams) attempts communication with the aliens.

The use of perception throughout is smart and Villeneuve's directing makes this film a remarkably rich character study of the two main characters, Banks (Adams) and her colleague Ian Donnely (Renner). In particular, Amy Adams really impressed me in this film. It will honestly be an injustice if she doesn't receive any kind of acting nomination for Best Actress for this film at this year's Academy Awards. She is amazing in this role and she shines in 'Arrival'. Jeremy Renner also provided a strong performance, but no-one holds a candle to Adams in this film. Overall, this film blew me away and I'd highly recommend seeing it.

Note: If you can, see it on the big screen. The music and sound for this film work best in surround sound and the eerie tone of it adds to the flavour of 'Arrival' brilliantly.

Rating: 5/5

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