Villeneuve took at a stab at the sci-fi genre and wonderfully too! “Arrival” is an ‘alien encounter’ film rather than a ‘people in space’ one.
Twelve UFOs ‘land’ at twelve places at the earth. People are actually allowed on board to try to communicate with the aliens. Every country that ‘has’ a UFO tries to decipher the aliens’ language. Of course we follow the American encounter.
The story is well-written and at the end actually proves to be very complex as well. The film itself is very well-written too. The first time the viewer gets on the UFO together with scholars, scientists and military people is great. An interesting puzzle unfolds. The only thing I liked less is the drama at the end.
For some reason the name of the director connects to interesting films in my head. When I see my reviews of two other Villeneuve titles, I wonder why. Do I mix him up with another director with a French name?
With “Sicario” the expectations were lived up though! Contrary to the two other films, which were dramas, “Sicario” is a dark, gloomy and raw crime action. The young FBI agent Kate Macer is asked for a special team hunting a Mexican drugs cartel. She tumbles into a world were laws and especially violence are not what she was used to and that is quite something after the opening scene.
The film has an almost constant gloomy atmosphere with the suggestion of an extremely violent outburst. The rumbling soundtrack sure adds a lot to the atmosphere, as do the shots of the desolate landscape between the USA and Mexico.
Indeed, “Sicario” is a very descent crime film.
The cover somewhat suggests a “Being John Malkovich”-like film (after which many similar films have been made) which is in way true, but “Enemy” is in no way as interesting.
History teacher Adam watches a film in which an actor plays that looks exactly like him. He sets out to find this actor and finds him living nearby. Adam is an annoyingly nervous person, even more so when he meets his ‘doppelgänger’. The film does not make clear, and Adam probably does not know himself, why he wants to meet his double, but the events that follow certainly are not what he hoped for. The story is already not too appealing, but the ‘explaining’ last scene is pretty silly. Not that the film is awfull, it is not boring or anything, but it is just a not too convincing drama.
I do not remember how this film came on my to-see list. It is not really my preferred genre; drama. A pretty heavy drama too, but a painfully good film.
A pair of Canadian twins’ mother dies and on reading her will, their mother asks her children to find their father and brother and give them letters that she wrote. The son, obviously annoyed by his mother’s upbringing, declines, the daughter sets out to the Middle East (Syria I think) to find her mother’s roots and hence her father and her brother. This proves to be quite an ordeal in a land where Christians and Muslims lived in peace until the time of the mother when a dirty and bloody war was fought.
The film shows the story of the mother and how she first became a disgrace to her family and then ended up in prison. The daughter slowly finds the information she is looking for and after her brother came over to join her search, the story makes an awfull circle.
The film shows the Middle Eastern wars and effects of it on a very personal level. The extraordinary harsch lives of people living in the desert. Unfortunately the film is as actual today at it was in the time the mother from this film lived.