Ok, let me just wrap my head around at what I just witnessed. Dennis Villeneuve, man. This guy has been blowing my mind since Prisoners. He has this slow-paced, intense build up to every thing. It’s not good for the nerves! I mean, if you have watched it you know what I am talking about.
Let me say this, just to put it into perspective. I am an atheist. I do not believe in an almighty being. I do believe in Aliens or other life-forms that are obviously around there in the galaxy. I mean, we are here so they are there too. So, my mind is ready to accept the fact that one day we will be contacted because we are not alone. It’s stupid at this point to think that we are alone.
Then, when I see movies like this or Contact, I begin to question myself that am I really ready? It’s scary and fascinating to imagine what will it be like and to see that emotion portrayed on the big screen is the closest we can get to feeling that. I am sure Earth’s scientists will break through but till then, we have the next best thing.
The movie is based off Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life” and the screenplay is written by Eric Heisserer. The complexity that they were able to portray is mind-boggling. Just like we learn at the end of the movie that time is not linear for these aliens. It is like a loop, an infinite loop and also one that is inevitable. If you see closely, the whole movie is presented in a non-linear format.
We begin with what looks like a flash-back, but it is something from the future. We get to see intermediate flash-forwards(I’m hoping that’s the term for showing something from the future). There are many questions that I don’t have an answer to. Ok, I have a “eh!” answer so bear with me.
Louise(Amy Adams) gets to have all these forward flashes because she has succeeded. It’s inevitable. She will succeed so everyone in the future knows the Heptapode language. The essence of that “universal language” is that it re-wires your brain and allows you to access the future or past. So every time Louis forward-flashes, the characters she interacts with(like her daughter or Shang) sorta knows the language and they help her in the future so that she can change the present. That’s what I made of it. Hey! It’s complicated, all right.
The cinematography is brilliant. Bradford Young, well done! The entire movie had a very grim look to it. Almost like (and I know this is a bad example), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
I’ll mention it here because I don’t think I am intelligent enough to do a Amateur Analysis of this movie. I loved the use of orange and teal(bluish) in the movie. Orange was used whenever Louise was in a comfortable or secure place or one where she relates herself to. Teal is used to light the places where she is not in control. The interaction between them and the Heptapodes have a contrast of black and white. If you’re going to flip your device before hearing my final analogy, do it already, fair warning. I think the humans were on the black side because we are oblivious to the potential we have or are able to access. The Heptapodes are on the white side, because they know almost everything. They can predict something that’ll happen 3000 years later. So, when Louise has the final revelation, she steps from a black pod(because she still doesn’t know everything) to a white surface(because her brain is getting re-wired).
The editing done by Joe Walker is commendable. The to and fro could have tipped me over and I would have just walked off, but he managed to keep it engaging enough. The music was brilliant. Subtle and soothing might be the right words to describe it. The set design was simplistic. I was just hoping it wouldn’t go full Independence Day and I was more than delighted to see that it didn’t.
Coming to the acting. Amy Adams pretty much takes the cake. I just couldn’t take my eyes off her. She is so expressive with her eyes and face and everything. She doesn’t need to speak and I already know what she is feeling. Jeremy Renner provides ample support to her character. Rest of them are really believable as their respective characters.
FINAL VERDICT – Watch it. Just watch it. If you’ve watched it, watch it again for my sake. I can’t really promise you that you’ll get it the 1st time. Even I didn’t get it. Probably, you’re smarter than me and you’ll get it and you’ll explain what you thought in the comments section below because I am pretty sure I have missed a lot of analogies and symbolism. So, if you got anything, feel free to share it.
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