Oh, Arrival, maybe I would have loved you better if I had seen you in a dark cinema on a big screen and with surround sound. Maybe then I would have paid more attention, but sadly that didn’t happen.
I like the premise of the movie and it has solid acting, I even like Jeremy Renner in it and Amy Adams is great as always. I love the special effects and the whole look of the aliens, but it just didn’t impress me. It is a perfectly fine movie and one I think people should watch if they want to, but that is it. I don’t feel an urgent need to toot its horn.
I think what I liked the best about Arrival was the linguistics aspects, which should surprise no one. Language is so fascinating and as Amy Adams’s character says, it is the first weapon in war. Language is also fluent, ever changing and bound in culture, so it can be super frustrating. Also the language they created in the movie is gorgeous.
I would have loved to have seen more of the consequence for Louise knowing the language and therefore knowing the future – because time isn’t linear – and how that affects her relationship with Ian and their kid. That would have been so interesting to know more about. I didn’t need the suspence with the war looming. Some of those scenes could have been cut so we could get more of the psychological impact of knowing the future. I would have loved to see the movie discuss the nature of free and fate in connection with knowing the furture. But this was not that movie. Maybe I should give the short story it is based on a go.
Also, I confirmed through IMDb that Abbott and Costello is indeed named that as a nod to the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First” bit where language and communication is indeed complicated and your understanding of many aspects is needed for you to know what others are talking about. It is a great sketch, so here it is: