One way of making me watch a film, is by calling it "cerebral"; And "Arrival" is as cerebral as it can get.
First, it asks the question what is this thing called "language" we are using? Language is our thoughts and words based on the reality we experience. What "is" Reality?
If you enjoy questions like that, not weirded out easily by philosophical musings, you will appreciate Arrival.
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I'm not gonna make a detailed movie review here since the movie has the basic ingredients of film. But I will take note of the insights inferred by the dialog and as the story unfolds.
If you are an alien and you have a different perception of "time" or maybe your reality of "time" is different (for example: time for you is not linear - not the typical past, present, future), you have a different way of expressing it and probably bound to be misunderstood from the get-go by a different species like humans, at least in this context.
To use a less abstract example, science tells us that Time is linear since when you cook or make coffee, you can't unmake the coffee or uncook the food.
In the same vein, if in the human experience, "memories" are scenes or experiences from the past that we "remember" in flashbacks; what if you have "flashbacks" of the future? What if as an alien, time for you is like that?
Perhaps one would think this is all just fiction, but if you're the type who find it interesting that Time is now known to have a beginning, and what could there before time"? What if these aliens come from that Reality?
Actually, if you have seen Interstellar and Contact both "serious" sci-fi films, Time also played a significant part in which it becomes distorted or the future, present and the past become one and the same.
This reminds me of a recent scientific finding that the human consciousness moves on to live (aka a soul) in the quantum field. Experts who back this theory argue that our physical universe is just a perception, and that once our bodies die there is an infinite life beyond. Is this the science's term for "eternity". I guess at some point science and religion becomes one and the same too. But that's enough musing for now.
I don't know but this is enough musing for now.