Movie Review: Arrival

ARRIVALYes, this is a writing and reading blog. I do take the liberty of reviewing other entertainment, however, when I feel it is applicable to either the writing or reading life. Sometimes something is so good, that I might be stretching it a bit, and when I saw Arrival I knew that I wanted to talk about it. But I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to call it applicable for both readers and writers.

There are two things that–besides it being excellent–should recommend this movie to you, my blog reader. First, it is about language. The main character, Louise, is a linguist, and is recruited by the government to communicate with aliens. Much of the movie truly is about language, and the approach to language is fascinating and interesting. Second, the story itself is so expertly told, that a study of this movie could benefit anyone who tells stories. I have very rarely witnessed a story with such impeccable timing and withholding. Between my husband and I, the delivery played out 100% effective. It was surprising and invigorating, the way it all came together. (I shouldn’t talk it up too much, because then your expectations will be too high. Alas, I’ve already done so.)

On top of all that, the movie has great twists and turns and elements of romance, tragedy, science fiction (obviously), math, and even time theory. It is, on the other hand, very slow. I can think of people who expressed interest in seeing it whom I know would not appreciate it because of the pacing. Sssllllooooowwww.

My biggest take-away? The bit about language theory, where they allude to learning a new language as re-wiring the brain. It gave me something to think about as I read my first Chinese book for my trip to China. I’ll talk more about that in the next entry.

Obviously, I would recommend this movie, but not if you can’t handle slow movies. If you have a special interest in language or aliens, especially.


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