So far this year the films I have seen this year have been full of gunfights and disappointments. There have been some excellent films (such as The Nice Guys and Deadpool) but they have all been glamorised in colour, humour and action. Then Arrival comes along, a sci-fi film with no invasion, action or space and it is bloody amazing!
After leaving this film, the one thing that is still stuck in my mind was the haunting soundtrack (by Johaan Johannsson) that accompanied the haunting imagery on screen. From the moment the film started I knew the soundtrack was going to be something special and as the film grew I knew it was going to be something special itself. From the ceiling of Amy Adams’s home, to the space pods, to a simple field, the soundtrack blew me away every time (hints of Swiss Army Man). Especially the tracks titled “First Contact” and “On the Nature of Daylight” by Max Richter. I would recommend it a listen but if you’re going to see this film don’t listen to it. Wait for the film and be scared shitless.
Director Denis Villeneuve and Cinematographer Bradford Young deserve a massive round of applause, pat on the back, whatever you want to give them (your life’s), they deserve it. Imagery of the simplest kind that is still striking and imprints itself on my mind more than the imagery in any other film this year. Praise go to the long shots that linger, allowing you to take in everything, something that films in recent years and this year don’t do. Never have clouds or gherkins been so entertaining to watch. I have seen Villeneuve’s recent works but from now on I’m going straight to the damn cinema.
I say sci-fi you say… Star Wars? Star Trek? Doctor Who? All exciting and full of action and… well, stuff happening. But like La Haine and Prometheus, Arrival is another film of a category which I have come to call “Nothing happens but something happens”. Science fiction has now turned into just action and explosions, then Arrival reminds us what it can be. Inception with Aliens. Maybe that’s stretching it but come on that sounds awesome and that is what I am going to describe it as from now on as there is no other comparisons I can make. Restricted sci-fi is what this is and it is great. Good luck 2016.
All year I’ve been waiting for a film like Arrival! Too may films nowadays have you sit back and relax, but Arrival has you think every second it is on. The performances are great by our main leads Adams and Renner. Go into this film knowing you’re going to be f*cked with and you may have a good time. If you only like stupid films that don’t make you think and Saturday night television then you’re probably going to hate this film. But as a true Inception fan, I have to recommend Arrival. Zero problems whatsoever.
Arrival – 5/5 (Best film of 2016 so far)