Arrival

Nov. 12th, 2016 05:58 pm
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
This is a really good, thoughtful, humanist science fiction movie. It doesn't turn into horror or action halfway through, it's just about ideas and emotional truth. The heroine isn't badass in any traditional sense, but is still great, and gets treated like a real person instead of a Girl (eg she wears sensible clothes with her hair in a ponytail in situations where that's what any real person would do)

At times it crossed my personal line from "meditative and beautiful" into "ponderously slow" for a minute or two, and I imagine that if "linguist solves alien language problem by thinking about it very seriously" isn't your idea of a good time you'd it boring. But I loved it!

I read the original short story years ago and feel like the movie captures the stuff I loved about it (and I loved it a lot), some aspects didn't translate well to film (eg they do cut out the more technical linguistics) but other parts worked amazingly well. Knowing the plot didn't ruin my enjoyment but Cam LOVED the experience of going in unspoiled and I'm a little sad not to have experienced that.

There's very little "hard science" as in physics etc, Jeremy Renner's physicist character mainly serves as a sidekick. (I think the most sciencey thing he does to progress the plot is solve a fraction) But it's hard scifi in the sense of being about ideas. But also feelings! And a compassion for all people which is something I needed right now. It's also really visually effective, I'm glad we saw it at the cinema.

While ultimately uplifting in a bittersweet sort of way there's some very sad moments and it made me cry.

Content warning about one specific kind of sadness below. This stuff comes up in the first few scenes and I don't spoil anything past that point.

****Content warning, some spoilers****

There's a bunch of stuff to do with death and illness involving a child. I find this kind of thing upsetting and was ok with it (in fact more ok than I was expecting based on my memory of the short story) but your mileage may vary.
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