Was ‘Arrival’ Worth the Wait?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI will be honest. I never really wanted to see this movie. A few people recommended it, but it still didn’t appeal to me. The whole concept of aliens landing on earth/humans freaking out to the point of war/someone saving the day at the last-minute has been done. And done. And done some more.

So maybe it was the mood I was in or the books I’ve been reading lately. See The Punch. But this movie wasn’t all that bad in that it caused me to think.

Sure there were holes – giant-sized alien holes – in the plot. The acting was a bit, um, I don’t really have a word for it. And it was a bit far-fetched that any team of humans could have deciphered an alien language that fast.

But, hey, what do I know? I’m not a linguist, nor do I have a Ph. D.

Let’s put all of that aside, though. Because if we wanted to nitpick we could find holes in any narrative – and typos, lots and lots of typos…

What struck me about this story is that someone was willing to admit and explore that we humans aren’t the smartest, baddest Mo Fo’s in the universe. Again, not a new concept for a movie, but it’s good to remind ourselves every once in a while I think.

Of course, the aliens did need our help after they put us in a position to help.

I’m sorry, I keep getting stuck in the holes…

What I really want to ponder is that it’s possible that time isn’t linear. We only perceive it that way because our brains were made – evolved, whatever, again not a debate on evolution v. creation – that way. Or maybe our fragile constitution just can’t handle it.

Hell, we don’t even like to think that there are lives being lived simultaneously all around us. Or that one choice could catapult our lives in a completely different direction. So I get why the concept of time being non-linear is mind-blowing.

Just thinking about it makes me cringe. It feels like there’s a switch in my brain and some mini-me is standing next to it, ready to flip it if I continue to think about it. Hmm, maybe that’s why I don’t have a doctorate. I sure have the utmost respect for the people who can think about this kind of stuff and not go nuts.

Maybe that’s why these movies come out as inconsequential drivel. We don’t have the capacity to either create nor understand something that even comes close to the truth. It certainly wouldn’t follow the current formula for what we call entertainment.

I know there are tons of books and shows and movies that deal with aliens and alternate realities, but if you’d like to read something that would actually stretch your mind I highly recommend Weaveworld by Clive Barker. It’s an older novel, but still holds up.

I usually read it when I need a reminder that the truth is going to be way cooler, stranger, and more awesome than any of us can imagine.

And being uncomfortable isn’t all that bad…


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