Movie Afterthoughts – Arrival

Felt a strong urge to blog about this movie which I had just watched earlier this week at the theatre. It felt so same in concept yet at the same time gives away a very different feeling altogether.

The movie was based on a 1998 novel short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. In the movie a linguistic lecturer, Louise Banks is lecturing at a university, twelve extraterrestrial spacecraft appear across the planet. While the flashback/or flashforward as we might term it, the character is caring for her daughter, who dies during adolescence from cancer. While watching the movie, I had many thoughts running through my mind. First had experience half way through the movie, I was thinking about a movie which I had watched via iTunes Movie not too long ago which was released 20 years ago – Contact (1997 Sci-Fi movie).

Could the two movies be of similarity? Well, the answer is both a yes and no. It might have left us with some linger thoughts in our minds after watching it for sure. But somehow, what kept me thinking throughout the show was more than just language.

What I felt more inclined to was the word communication. In both movies, Arrival was about forwarding thoughts even though there seem to be one or two subplots within the major plots as compared to the clean cut movie – Contact which I elaborate more later in the further reading.

The two subplots I felt was about the character who had this gift – whether it was inborn or bestowed to her by the aliens, where she could gaze into the future thoughts to know what would happen and she could choose whether or not to alter the path. When we look deeper into it, sometimes it could relate to our life as de Ja VU moments. While at other times it is about decisions we make, and how it could impact our lives.

On the 2nd subplot I felt, it was about her determination to save the world and decipher the codings behind the whole idea of 12 extraterrestrials “heptapods”. So the plot within the plots does teach us something about teamwork and communications perhaps.

Through the movie, we could also see how they use language software and algorithm to decipher the images the came out from the aliens and how the communication was conceived between human and the aliens.

It is unlike the usual Sci-Fi action movie which we would usually experience in the theatre, this felt more like an art or deep thought provoking movie which sends a more interesting perspective. Though the original story was written in 1998 – 19 years ago which seems to be around the time the movie – Contact was shown.

Moving on to the movie Contact, it was a book to movie adaptation of the same title. In the movie, the scientist by the name of Dr. Ellie Arroway who works for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. As she was fascinated by science and communication since she was a child, and listens to radio emissions from space hoping to find evidence of alien life. So the movie talks about her making contact into space hoping to find life. Which she did, and gain some first-hand experience into life in the outer realm.

In conclusion, both movies explores about the possibility of alien life in space. But more I felt it was about the use of language and thoughts and how it seems to affect the world around us more so now than 20 years ago.

Movie Trailer

Official Website:

Movie Related items sourced from Official Movie Website.


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