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Arrival

Arrival ticketstubThere was very little buzz about this movie approaching its release, and therefore, not a lot of talk about its themes and plot points. This is good. With that in mind, I won't be saying much about that here, for this is a movie that must be experienced to understand. No description I give here will do it justice. What I can talk about is the quality of the movie. Arrival is sumptuously deliberate and notably sparse. The way shots are framed, there is typically only one thing happening in each. Even when there is background activity, it's muted, either out of focus or the audio is tamped down so your attention is on the character(s) in this scene. This is not Independence Day despite the presence of alien spacecraft hovering over many parts of the planet simultaneously. This is a complex puzzle that slowly and deliberately unfolds in front of you with a sort of Zen simplicity that gives you space to roll it around in your mouth after every step. As the movie progresses, the ideas layer on top of each other and combine like the flavors of a perfectly seasoned meal. While there are dozens of nuanced flavors to experience, the dish is exquisite when taken as a whole. The sparse presentation tugs you through a journey of discovery both external and internal and you come out the other end both knowing exactly what just happened, and seeking out all the fascinating little bits that lead to this conclusion. It's basically a very complicated stew made up of very simple ingredients. Grab yourself a bowl and savor every morsel.

5/5