Director: Denis Villeneuve
Time: 1 hr. 56 minutes
I had such high hopes for this movie, but I am afraid to say that I was disappointed. First, let me tell you the good things about this movie. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner were very good in their roles as scientists who are conscripted by the military in order to communicate with an alien ship which lands in Montana. Forrest Whitaker, who plays the officer who is in charge of the scientists, was not as good as I have come to expect of him. He seemed to start off with a Boston accent but by the end of the film it was gone.
I don’t know how closely this film was based on the book, but if it was followed as written, then I really can’t blame the director. The first problem that comes to mind is the sound track. If you go to see this film and are expecting some action, you will be sorely disappointed. The pacing of the film was not helped by the sound track because the music, for the most part, was too calm and peaceful. In fact, I found myself almost falling asleep during the first 15 minutes of the film. There was one scene where the music was louder but it was a bit jarring.
There was a scene where Ian (Jeremy Renner) says to Louise (Amy Adams), “you approach linguistics like mathematics”. This line exemplifies the whole feeling of the movie. The aliens are never shown as good or evil, but are just there. By the time that their purpose is revealed, it was a bit of a let down. The problem for me on how to rate the director is that he hasn’t done many films and the ones that he has done, I haven’t seen. The other problem is that there are two different stories going on in the film and it is a bit difficult to see how they relate to each other. Is one story line of Louise as a mother relevant to the story of learning to communicate with the aliens?
So, as I said, I had high hopes for this film. As far as ratings go, I will have to give it 3.5 stars. If you want to watch a cerebral science fiction movie, this would be it. I’m afraid that I will not be adding this film to my collection.