The meaning of the movie “Arrival” 2016

2016 film directed by Denis Villeneuve. The expectation rating was high and it can be said that it was fully justified, since both the film critics who looked at the work from a professional point of view and the audience who came to enjoy the viewing were satisfied and achieved all their goals. However, to understand what the meaning of the film “Arrivals” is not so easy without additional explanations, that’s what we’re going to do now.

Plot of the movie Arrival

12 extraterrestrial ships of a very unusual shape arrive on planet Earth, all of them are located in different parts of the world, in different countries. Earthlings consider it necessary to get in touch with them, but the aliens do not know the human language. It is necessary to find a good linguist, or rather, on the scale of such a global operation, which has the character of space communication, the best linguist-translator is needed. Louise Banks was chosen for this role, a young woman who is currently not building a personal life and does not find reasons for this. We see scenes where she loses her daughter, the woman is divorced, most likely the breakup occurred after an accident with a child. But while these are only references, some flashbacks, a complete explanation is not given to them.

While the goals of the guests of the planet are not clear, all the countries on whose territory ships have landed report news to each other. Ian Donnelly, a physicist, becomes Louise’s partner. It is quite clear to them that the aliens did not arrive with a warlike attitude, otherwise they would have attacked long ago, since they clearly have such an opportunity. Ian and Louise believe that the main goal of the aliens is to establish contacts with people, but the language barrier does not yet allow this. Gradually, using visual aids, Louise finds contact with the aliens.

The physicist and linguist begin to understand the language of the guests and conclude that the language is not just “foreign”, or rather alien, it is based on a completely different principle than in the language of people. The main difference is how we use sounds. People have alphabets and alphabets with fixed signs, each of which has its own sound meaning, from which we compose words and sentences. Aliens describe with sounds immediately a phenomenon, event or object. In the understanding of these creatures, time is perceived as a single cyclic canvas, and not the usual coordinate system, where time is familiar to people, a horizontal or straight line.

The aliens have no concept of time, Louise understands this pretty soon, and it is she who, of all people, manages to learn the language. Along with the understanding of the language, the ability to understand time is also transferred to a woman, just like an alien race. So Louise begins to see the future.

However, before contact has been established, some countries decide to attack the alien ships and cut off contact with the center. Russian troops plant a bomb in one of the ships, none of the aliens suffer, but Louise herself was in danger. She is rescued by two aliens with whom she communicates – Abbott and Costelo. Abbott dies, Costelo explains to Louise the purpose of their coming. In fact, in the future, earthlings will help this race, and they flew to the planet to establish ties with earthlings.

The meaning of the movie ArrivalThe meaning of the movie "Arrival" 2016

The point of the movie “Arrival” is that Louise is outside of time. This confirms the moment when Louise tells the Chinese leader information that she can only learn in the future.

At this moment, the meaning of the film “Arrival” is realized – the principle of linguistic relativity, which lies in the fact that the language a person speaks determines his mentality. People who do not know how to look at the world in the same way as peaceful aliens see danger where it does not exist, while alien guests arrive only to get to know earthlings, to give them new technologies, a new way of thinking, the ability to build and create, and not conquer and destroy. They suggest that we get something new not with the help of violence, but using communication as the main way to communicate and achieve goals.

Meanwhile, China is also planning to carry out an armed attack on the spacecraft. Louise needs to prevent this. She sees a future in which, after a year and a half, she meets with the general of China, he thanks her for an important call that allowed him to cancel the military operation and make contact with the aliens. Then he gives her his number. Having reached the satellite phone, the woman calls the real Chinese general and says the phrase that his wife said before her death – “War does not create winners, but widows.”

Thus, the girl saves her world, and the aliens. The film is a big, slightly confusing metaphor for understanding how to understand a foreign culture, a foreign civilization. The answer comes in the literal sense from heaven, or rather, from space. It is brought by these unusual aliens.

Meaning of the movie’s ending

The ending of the film deserves special attention. After all the above actions, Ian begins to build a relationship with Louise, and it gradually becomes clear that the heroine’s flashbacks about her dead daughter and the subsequent breakup with her husband were, in fact, predictions of the future. Louise saw her own fate. And here the director is probably asking his audience a question – if you knew your future, what would you do – try to change it and correct all the mistakes, or, like the main character of the film “Arrival”, leave everything as it is, because even in she sees her happiness in such a future. When Ian proposes to her to have a child, she knows the consequences of this act, but gladly agrees. Ian doesn’t know the truth about their future together, and his wife decides not to tell him the truth.

We see the same scenes at the beginning and at the end of the film – probably this is also a kind of reference, like the name of the daughter of the main characters – Anna. This name is a palindrome – that is, it is read the same on both sides – from left to right and from right to left. The meaning of the end of the film is that time is not just a straight line, if you look at life from the point of view that aliens adhered to, then the whole human existence takes on a new sound and a new meaning. There are no linear, verified ways to live your life “correctly”, only the person himself determines his fate.

Write in the comments your meaning of the film Arrival. We look forward to waiting!

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