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Arrival: Spoiler Free Review

If you couldn’t wrap your head around the ending of Christopher Nolan’s ‘interstellar’, don’t even try to step into the theatre.

Set in an undetermined year, Science-fiction epic Arrival focuses on the brilliant, former Military-aid turned University Professor ‘Louise’ and Theoretical Physicist, ‘Ian’ as they make contact, learn from and decipher the appearance of a giant space Pringle which has made an appearance in Montana.

As Louise and Ian have access to only one Space Pringle, Arrival’s protagonists have to juggle several battles in order for their intended task to be a success. First, is the naivety and general ‘it might not ever do anything dangerous… but it’s a threat’ attitude of the American Government and Military, the outstanding language barrier lifeforms who aren’t human and don’t speak English present and the ever escalating danger the rest of the world seems to put itself in because some Aliens have shown up.

Because of these rather provocative barriers which present themselves to the main characters; a sense of constant tension forces you to focus whilst watching Arrival; as the atmosphere within the screen builds to a boiling point and the steam rises and covers your eyes.

The scenes in Arrival are well planned and add to this sense of constant strain and drama. Even homely and domesticated scenes such as inside Louise’s house have a claustrophobic feel to them, whilst the dichotomous appearance of light and dark inside the alien spacecraft is mountainously limiting and liberating.

The cast has an excellent on-screen chemistry to them too, with Golden Globe winner for Best Actress; Amy Adams and Academy Award for best supporting Actor, Jeremy Renner making an excellent protagonist duo who believably stick together till the very end, despite their initial differences in style and opinion.  However, unlike several other winning duos, it is not what makes them different that makes them effective. Instead, it is their similar ‘mathematicians’ approach to problems that makes this dynamic duo humanities best hope.
Also, When is Forrest Whitaker ever not excellent? He’s fabulous in this too, playing US Colonel Weber, a necessary ally in keeping the US Government off of the backs of Adams and Renner.

Conclusion

Arrival is a film that to truly explain why you want to give it a score, you must delve into the nitty gritty details about what makes this film great, blowing apart the ‘spoiler free’ section of this review. So whilst this review is a ‘I want this because of reasons’, our unexplained, unjustified verdict is a 9/10. A must-see film before the end of the year.

  • Date published: 22nd November 2016
  • Written by: Omar Alleyne-Lawler

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