Never has the linguistics profession been so badass, so nuanced, so full of intrigue.
At first glance, Arrival may seem like your typical alien movie. After all, it has all the hallmarks of a classic first encounter story. There are the massive spaceships strategically placed in 12 locations around the world, cities in a panic-induced state of looting and rioting, and the aliens themselves, of course.
But its also about much more than that.
Hitting theaters 12 January 2017, the movie stars Amy Adams as acclaimed linguistics professor Louise Banks, who gets tapped by the U.S. government to translate and decode the alien language, and then analyze their intentions. Do they come in peace? Or should the world brace itself for an intergalactic war?
Adams is stunning and just a shade haunted as Louise and remains thoughtful and determined throughout. It’s no wonder she received nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild for the role.
We need to make sure they understand the difference between a weapon and a tool, because language is messy and sometimes one can be both, Louise says. On Earth, as anywhere, precision of language is key.
But when she realizes that the structure of their language is directly related to their consciousness and the way they perceive time, the movie begins to shift its focus from an alien encounter to an exploration of topics surrounding language, culture and humanity.
Jeremy Renner stars as hotshot physicist Ian Donnelly, the quick-tongued counterpart to Louises thoughtful poise, while Forest Whitaker rounds out the cast as the US Army Colonel in charge of bringing the pair together.
The movie is already garnering plenty of attention from viewers and critics alike, who cant get enough of the surprising plot and sharp themes.
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times says, You will want to see the movie twice. Its exhilarating and enlightening. Amy Adamss performance is fierce and wonderfully nuanced. While David Edelstein of New York Magazine called the ending truly shocking.
For those of us obsessed with the way culture and science collide which hello, thats what Mashable is all about one of the most fascinating narrative threads in Arrival is the discussion of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Also known as linguistic relativity, the theory is that the way a language is structured can determine a native speakers perception of reality and shape their entire human or alien experience.
The result is a thought-provoking discussion about how we view our lives and relate to one another. Get ready to talk about this movie with your family and friends Arrival is the kind of flick that will have you thinking about the way you look at the world long after the credits roll.
Watch the trailer below: