Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sci-Fi Re-Watch: Arrival (2016)




Watched: 01-06-2018
Format: BluRay
Viewing: Second
Decade: 2010's




Goddamn.  This movie. 

Released in 2016, I had seen the movie in the theater, but hadn't watched it since.  At the time, I think we all agreed - just because of the narrative trick of the movie- it demanded a second viewing.  Look, I hate to call it a trick, but it's not the wearying stunt movie making of M. Night Shyamalan, it's a sort of gradual realization that it's okay if you caught what was happening before they drive the point home.  And, I am happy to say, on a second viewing, you lose nothing in the storytelling by knowing what's coming.  In fact, the gut punch of the movie's reveal, looped back to the story's beginning, does nothing to lessen the impact.

If you only saw the movie the one time, I'd encourage you to give it another shot for what is, arguably, a very different but no less powerful film.  Able to get past the "what will happen?  What is happening? How will this shake out?" - once you can focus on how the film works, the stunning photography and sound (including a phenomenal score), it's well worth the time. 

4 comments:

mcsteans said...

This is such an amazing movie and wasn't such a different experience upon second viewing as I suspected it would be. It hit many of the same emotional beats for me, just for slightly different reasons. I'm really glad we finally got around to the rewatch as I remember one of my main takeaways from our first viewing was 'damn, I really want to see it again now that I know what's really going on'.

I wish more sci-fi was this well thought out and constructed. It was such a powerful decision to have Amy Adams be the focal point throughout. One that was necessary to the plot, yes, but being so tied to this character the audience feels everything right along with her. And she is sensational in it.

Ryan Steans said...

I guess I'm so used to movies that use the sci-fi events to give a character closure regarding personal tragedies (example: Gravity) that, while it didn't bother me that we were led to believe Adams was coming off a tragedy, starting with the knowledge of how all of this works inverted the movie. It was no more nor less engaging, but from go we know what we're seeing and the flow of the movie worked, for me, very differently.

J.S. said...

When I think of this movie I mostly think, "Sometimes people should consider adoption."

Ryan Steans said...

that's the message of this movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063522/