TIFF 2016 Movie Review: ARRIVAL (USA 2016) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

arrival_poster.jpgARRIVAL (USA 2016) ****
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Review by Gilbert Seah

Finally arrives a sci-fi futuristic alien film without the blow ups, collapsing buildings and end of the world scenario. Well, all of the above might still happen but it is up to theoretical physicist, Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) and linguistics expert, Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams0 to find out the purpose of the landings.

The landings occur at 12 different locations around the globe and there is a reason for that. Director Villeneuve (PRISONERS, ENEMY) builds up the suspense carefully aided by Jóhann Jóhannsson’s captivating score, unique set design by Patrice Vermette and cinematography by Bradford Young. But it is surprising that the best part of the film is the simple shot segment of Dr. Louise’s explanation of what it means to communicate the question: “What is the purpose of your visit?” to the visitors.

Every word and even the question mark and the pronoun you (singular or collective?) might have different meanings. The non-linearity of time is also a neat concept that is also examined.

The title ARRIVAL in the film, could also refer to two things – the arrival of the visitors or the birth of Dr. Louise’s baby.

ARRIVAL is a fascinating film on all counts.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFMo3UJ4B4g

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