Arrival treats audiences with science-fiction thriller

Chris DiLullo, Sports Editor

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Sicario and Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve released his newest film Arrival into theaters on November 11. Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, the film revolves around 12 alien ships arriving on Earth in 12 separate locations.

Before watching the movie, I had heard overwhelming praise for Villeneuve’s newest project. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 93 percent Fresh rating and an audience rating of 83 percent. In addition to this, the reception of Villeneuve’s films is consistently strong.

According to IMDb, audiences have rated his feature films an average of 7.625 stars out of 10. Arrival currently holds a rating of 8.4 out of 10 stars on IMDb, earning it the ranking of 95 on the website’s list of top rated movies, and I could not be more pleased. Arrival is a fantastic film, with all components excelling on high levels and is my favorite movie of 2016 thus far.

The basic plot of the film is simple: aliens arrive on Earth’s surface and the citizens of the planet attempt to communicate with them to determine what their purpose. Dr. Louise Banks, a university professor specializing in languages, is utilized by the government to try to understand the aliens and comprehend their motives.

Portrayed by Amy Adams, Banks is the film’s central character while Jeremy Renner’s Ian Donnelly, a scientifically-minded accomplice, and Forest Whitaker’s Coronel Weber, a military leader, are the main supporting characters.

While this plot may sound unoriginal and uninspired, the film is complicated, fresh and intelligent. Villeneuve makes deliberate decisions with his piece and screenwriter Eric Heisserer, penning a script off of Ted Chiang’s tale Story of Your Life, weaves a thrilling and immersive piece that constantly envelops the viewer.

Making the audience think and process each piece of information like Banks and Donnelly is Arrival’s biggest success, creating a story that causes full investment in the picture.

Arrival’s score is also one of the strongest characteristics of the piece. Borrowing Michael Richter’s On The Nature Of Daylight, one of the most hauntingly beautiful modern pieces of music, the film thrusts the audience into an intensely emotional situation between a mother and a daughter.

The score stays in the background throughout the film, remaining quiet yet capturing the audience on a level where I felt entranced throughout. On The Nature Of Daylight does return for the final scene, ending Arrival with strength and emotion and rounding out one of the best overall scores of the year.

Amy Adams’ portrayal of Banks is outstanding and should be recognized with an Academy Award nomination. Heartbreaking and eliciting emotion throughout while also being a strong female character, Adams creates a female heroine that uses intelligence and knowledge over brawn. Her acting throughout is continuously excellent, conveying emotions and reactions that any ordinary person in real life would have with each new piece of information Banks receives. The performance is real, grounded and one of the best of the year, male or female.

Flaws are arguably non-existent in the piece. I found no issues at all, as the only aspects of the film I do not understand were due to the complexity of the movie. The film is cerebral and can be very difficult to understand, thus it’s no surprise that there are still aspects of Arrival that I need to clarify by watching it again.

Arrival is my favorite movie of 2016 and is one of the best science-fiction pieces ever produced. While science-fiction fans are bound to be more appealed to an alien film, anyone who likes movies that tell an amazing story and that make you think and feel emotions at the same time to take the time to watch it.