Arrival Movie Review and Cross-Cultural Analysis

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The movie Arrival takes an implausible sci-fi direction in the best sense of the word. It speaks to the wonderful message that communication, not confrontation by struggle or battle, is the only way to prevent the world from destroying itself.The very framework in which we perceive reality is the very existence of communication. forms the basis of Arrival is an excellent film with deep meaning for the present. The action is that one day a series of heavy vehicles land on Earth in the form of a pod and hover over the ground in her 12 points in the world. People have no idea what the aliens want because basically nothing happens. Governments of the world attempt to decipher the meaning and the citizens of the specific nations react by looting, conducting mass suicides and joining cults.

Dr Banks, a character in the film performed by Amy Adams, is requested by military personnel to offer her expert linguistic skills in attempting and investigating to communicate with the alien intelligence behind the landing. She is tasked by the government of the United States to translate the unknown language thus analyse their sole intentions that are whether for peace or war. Dr Banks joined by a quantum physicist suit up and enter the craft to try and make contact with the intelligent life-form. She discovers that the aliens have a written language composed of symbols that correspond to the basic vocabulary which she then learns. She becomes proficient and is then able to question the strangers of their intentions. However, she struggles with their response to whether they were offering a weapon to be against or for the help of humanity.

The potential threat of fear leads the leaders of the world to cut all communications with the aliens and start preparing for war against the aliens. According to Dr Banks, language is the first weapon drawn during a conflict (Adams, Arrival). She later believes otherwise that the symbol of the aliens interpreted as a weapon could serve another purpose. In the alien culture, it would mean something like a tool used to turn antagonists into allies in some game. Her team is finally able to decipher that the symbol for a weapon to the aliens means a gift. They can conclude that the aliens intend to cooperate with earth for a higher purpose. Arrival uses the encounter with the aliens’ species to give a tale of humanity, culture, and language. The film bears the message imploring the human race to get over their fear of the unknown, to keep an open mind to remain united behind a common goal for the good of all. The theme of culture and language resonates essential lessons amidst the diverse population of America.

Communication with people from different cultures or those with different languages can be at times challenging. Misunderstandings are likely to arise at the moment of making friendly conversation. The disputes can act as a fuel to hurt or to develop a hatred for a particular ethnicity. In the society, it is essential to take time to understand other peoples languages and cultures so as not to come to unintended conclusions. Dr.Banks is keen to avoid misunderstandings, and so she advises the government to ensure that before war breaks out that they fully understand the message from the aliens.

Notably, the film shifts focus from an alien invasion to the purpose of communication and language. Language is a mechanism of understanding that which seems unknowable. The film, also, speaks to the relevance of identity and culture and just how they contribute through an interconnection to our humanity. In the American society, those who have English as their second language should not turn away from their culture and history. Their traditions, customs, and histories are both valuable and unique. In the society, a cultural conflict could arise from differences in language, religion, and beliefs which stem from varying ethnicities. It is of relevance to share unique cultural experiences with others and in turn make necessary efforts to learn about theirs. Cross-cultural dialogue has value within every society and so is being receptive to different cultures and religions. In a conflict, the ability to translate the language and understand how the culture influences the language can contain a looming war.

Work Cited

Arrival. Dir. Denis Villeneuve. Perf. Amy Adams. Paramount Pictures, 2006. Blu-ray, 14 February 2017.

April 19, 2023




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