On November 11, a new movie was released called, Arrival; it is based on the short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; it’s a sci-fi drama film which shows the connection between alien and human behavior. It also explores how language influences a person’s perspective on reality. An elite team comes together to investigate multiple mysterious spaceships that have landed on Earth, and spread across the globe. Linguist, Louise Banks (Amy Adams), Mathematician, Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), and US army, Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) star in Arrival. The film is directed by Denis Villeneuve, and the screenplay was written by Eric Heisserer. (Warning, spoiler alert)
Arrival is a very good movie, but by the end, it is just really mind-blowing. The movie starts off with a flashback in which Louise’s daughter, Hannah, dies of cancer. Some things are mentioned about the father, but the name or appearance of the father is not clear. The US army hires Louise Banks so she can study and hopefully understand the language of the aliens. With the help of Ian Donnelly, they slowly learn the alien language, and eventually recognize the patterns of the weird circle-like symbols. The aliens look squid-like, and have long “tentacles,” which they appear to write and walk with. They write by opening one of their “tentacles,” and an ink-like source sprays out, forming into the symbols. The aliens, called Heptapods, do not have an alphabet; instead, the communication is based on the scribbles in the circle. The writing is really strange, but is also a genius idea of bringing alien languages to a realistic perspective. Not only is the language unique, but it also changes the way someone can see the universe.
After Louise, (and only she), learns the language, the Heptapods write, “Use your weapons.” However, ‘weapons’ does not necessarily mean weapons in the traditional human sense in the Heptapod language. After a period of communicating through glass, she meets the Heptapods face to face. The Heptapods write to her that they need help in 3000 years. They also tell her that when someone learns their language they get to see a different perspective of the universe, and so she realizes, what her “dreams” and “flashbacks” were. She now knows her future and she can repeat her life, so she can either relive the same fate or change it. Time is no longer linear for her and she’s living in a time loophole; she has an endless amount of time to figure out what is best for her, and the people she cares about. It is all up to the choices she makes. The viewers as well as Louise learned what her future entails, including who the father is – Ian Donnelly. It was understandable, because they bonded very well in the movie.
A lot of questions were left after the movie ended, such as: What was the weapon the aliens wanted from the humans? Was the weapon the ability to see the future or something else? What happened to the father (Ian) at the end? What’s going to happen to the aliens in 3,000 years? How can Louise’s abilities change the fate of the aliens? Are they coming back? Many more questions are left unanswered, but the most important question is, will Arrival be getting a sequel? In my opinion, although many questions were left unanswered, it ended in a way where it doesn’t really need to continue, but there are some questions left that could be a hint to a sequel.