3 Great Ideas in the Movie “Arrival”

the-arrivalThe movie,  Arrival is a newer movie that just came out in theaters on November 11, 2016.  From the picture and all of the trailers it seemed like this film was going to be about an alien invasion with non-stop action while human kind must fight to protect our home from invaders.

That couldn’t be further from the truth with this movie.  People flocked to see the film.  Theaters were sold out.  Viewers sat there anticipating…waiting…watching.  However, it was not an action movie.  We did not fight the visitors.   When the movie ended, the reaction from most of the audience was “I don’t get it” and “I’m lost” and “That was slow.”  Yet, from a small group of college students I heard “That was amazing.  What a powerful message.”  This is a film that is supposed to get you talking and stimulate thought.  The writers were so careful when they thought out this film, and they included some small elements of humor to lighten the heavy message.

Every work of art is different to each viewer.  So, this is my thoughts on the film.  Let me tell you three great ideas that I took away from this piece of art.

This part might contain some spoilers.  However, it might help you to understand the movie also.  Continue at your own risk. 

Time is not always linear.   The movie does not continue down a linear path.  Throughout the film, the main character, Dr. Louise Banks played by Amy Adams, has flashes of images and moments.  The images that she sees in the beginning of the film are actually moments that will happen at the end of the film.  The movie starts and ends with almost the same scene.  The writers do this very carefully and try to give hints to the viewer with the emphasis of the daughter’s name being “Hannah” which is the same forwards and backwards.  Which is the same for the movie.

Life is made up of moments.   In the movie the aliens do not communicate with sounds or a spoken language.   They communicate through images and visions.  In the film, Dr. Banks is a master of linguistics.  Her job is to communicate with the aliens.  Throughout the film Dr. Banks is seeing images and moments that have not happened to her yet.  When she is asked if she is OK, she says that she can’t explain it.  The alien visitors are showing her the future with moments of time.  Our life is made up of moments: good and bad.

The big question.   At the end of the movie Dr Banks asks the big question, “If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?”  The images that the aliens were showing Dr Banks during the movie were both good and bad moments of her future.  They laid out her life for her, showed her the future and she was left with the choice.  The choice to change things or not.

Sometimes in life we want to get rid of all the bad or hard times that we have had to go through.  Yet, it is in those hard times that we grow.  A rubber-band is only useful when it is being stretched.  At times God allows us to go through rough patches because he is trying to build something in us.  Without that, we would not learn the lesson we needed to learn or become the person we need to be.

So the question remains:  If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?

Here are some links about Arrival:

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/arrival-2016   

http://www.signature-reads.com/2016/11/storys-source-the-idea-behind-arrival-starring-amy-adams/

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