Arrival was not a bad rendition of an award-winning a science fiction story, titled “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chaing. I like the intriguing visual designs of the ship, heptapods, heptapods’ spoken and visual languages. Music is also great.
Unfortunately, the movie has actually had more dramatic visual effects and less scientific, intricate conversation regarding language and physics. Due to this, the role of the second character, Gary Donnelly in the story and Ian Donnelly in the movie, seemed demoted a bit furhther (I don’t understand the motivation of renaming). I also remembered in an NPR interview, the director, Denis Villeneuve, mentioned that the focus of this movie is a family and relationships, but I do not strongly feel that that aspect is salient enough in the movie in spite of many flash forward and dream scences. They are kinds of used to provide evidence for “Louise sees the future.” I feel that the last conversation between Louise and heptapods is overkill and makes this movie too obvious. It lost the slightly confusing and elusive taste of the story, which I like.
I wonder if the movie itself was entertaining enough for regular movie goers. It could be a good gift for the fans of Ted’s stories, though.