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[personal profile] heron61
Today, [personal profile] teaotter and I went to see Arrival, which was very good indeed. My first thought about this film is in large theaters, it's now clearly a requirement to purchase tickets online, so as to avoid having to sit in the front row ever again.

My next thought is that it was a remarkably faithful and well done adaptation of Ted Chiang's Nebula Award winning novella "Story of Your Life". For me, it's right up there with the 1980 PBS adaptation of Ursula K. LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven in terms of excellent adaptations, but in this case there was a fair amount added that worked quite well. I highly recommend it as a well-done thoughtful SF film, which is a rare thing indeed. My one quibble gets into mild spoiler territory a bit.

The novella was pretty clear that time was utterly deterministic and that there was no choice, merely acceptance, and so choices were in many ways meaningless. The film was far less clear about this, and at least to me, a valid reading is that some events can't be changed by their nature, but intelligent beings who understand the heptapod written language can see the future and potentially change at least their own actions. If true, this casts Louise's actions in a rather different light, especially in regards to not telling Ian about Hannah's inevitable future illness earlier than it seemed she did. OTOH, I like that view of time considerably more than the story's.
One less pleasant thing [personal profile] teaotter and I both thought about during the film was now alien contact would go with our upcoming government.

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