Sunday, July 2, 2017

ARRIVAL(directed by Denis Villeneuve) is dead on arrival.

I'm all for intelligent science-fiction films, but this isn't one of them. Like THE MARTIAN, this is one of those faux-intelligent movies for 'adult-minded' people. Some may compare it to GRAVITY, but Cuaron's movie worked wonderfully because it was big on action, emotion, & effects and let 'ideas' drift into space. There was too much happening in Cuaron's movie to 'think' about anything.
In contrast, ARRIVAL is supposed to make us think and ponder. What about? Some giant stony half-eggs arrive from who-knows-where and invite humans to change notes. It turns out these alien being are giant squids(not unlike the squid monster in the Gamera movie DESTROY ALL PLANETS but kinder), and their message to humanity is a series of childish circles that they keep drawing over and over. But it's not just a squid story. It's a squid love story. There are two squids but one is sick, and squids can feel tragedy too, so they want to help humanity by promoting globalism. You see, China and Russia are belligerent and 'xenophobic' against the alien visitors, but goody-goody American 'liberal' scientists are so understanding and figure out some New Age flaky code as to why the squids are really doing what they doing. So, next time you think of the Jewish Octopus devouring the world, it is just spreading love. So, Germany should take in all those invaders 'refugees' and the entire world should tune into CNN and other Jewish-controlled globalist news.

Though sold as 'intelligent' sci-fi, the movie's more noteworthy for its emotional chords. In UFO stories, we tend to think in collective terms of 'humans' and the Other. Where ARRIVAL deviates from its predecessors(with the possible exception of CONTACT) is in suggesting at the 'personal' among the alien beings --- not 'personal' in what a space alien may mean to us humans(as in E.T.) but to one another in a ways that are both mysterious and familiar.
The woman comes to relate her own personal loss with the tragedy of the squid whose partner is ill. Until then, she only considered the squids as the collective 'them'. But upon closer contact, she realizes each squid creature has its own 'personal' issues(possibly unbeknownst to other squid creatures).
To her human peers, she is just a professional, a representative of America or the human race. And initially, she regarded the alien creatures like the humanity did: The Strange Other. But through special contact with one, she becomes, at least in one respect, closer to it than to her own kind because of the commonality of experience: tragic loss of dear one. Commonality of experience differs from commonality of race, ethnicity, or nationality. Only those who underwent the ordeal can really understand and belong. This is a lonely community as tragic experiences are always dispersed and unexpected, universally occurring but only to particular 'chosen' individuals.
And, it is this commonality of experience that prevents war-making by Chinese and Russians because a certain General Shang, it turns out, also lost a dear one and was especially touched by the message(a fusion of future and present) he received from the heroine. So, the film seems to be saying that, if we go beyond the collective identity and ponder the personal -- the Kodak moments of our lives, like in TREE OF LIFE -- , we will all a deeper connection with the universe marked by tragic beauty. On the other hand, what happened with Annakin Skywalker because he got so personally involved with Amidala? He went over to the Dark Side just to save his loved one.

We are doomed no matter what.

Rating: 2/5

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