• James Rutherford

'Arrival': A Brilliant and Captivating Science Fiction Touchstone


Movie poster for the film Arrival starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner

Based on the story “The Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, “Arrival” (2016) is a captivating science fiction fantasy depicting the appearance of alien spacecraft around the globe, and the recruitment of linguistics expert Louise Banks (a phenomenal Amy Adams) to attempt to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors.


Paired with a physicist played by Jeremy Renner, Louise comes face-to-face with the mysterious “heptapod” creatures and begins a process of careful interface in order to determine their intent. It’s a fascinating and excitingly original storyline, based in part on the "Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis" that language shapes the very way we think—and the way that Louise comes to perceive reality altogether.


Director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Blade Runner 2049) does a remarkable job here capturing the abstract concepts from Chiang’s story in a wonderfully engaging manner, both aesthetically and intellectually, culminating in an extraordinarily evocative and commanding finale. It's altogether touchstone science-fiction for the 21st Century: beautiful, touching and utterly spellbinding.

 

View the trailer: