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Whose Language, What Language: Review of the film, Arrival

Film is a media where the visual and (sometimes) the speech merge together. The visual mode easily impacts our minds so much that, despite some famous lines from movies, what we remember most are snippets of moving or still images.

Arrival, a movie starring Amy Adams, highlights this very conflict between language and image. Soon after its release the film created enormous buzz by gathering critical appreciation from different source, and through the debate over ‘accidental’ nomination of Amy Adams for the Oscars.  While such nittigritties are perfect for the gossip page, let’s talk about the film for a moment.

To summarize very briefly, Arrival is about the arrival of alien spaceships in different cities on the earth and a linguist’s, played by Amy Adams, job to communicate with them.

At first we may wonder what is a linguist doing in an alien mission. Well, her task is to decipher their language and understand their purpose of being on earth. The root of the problem therefore lies in inability to communicate with this unknown species. In this way, the film highlights human beings’ extreme reliance on spoken language as the only mode of communication. When the other species fail to do so, it causes mistrust and fear among the humans on the earth about possible impending destruction. Hence, the ‘human’ army leaders’ decision to attack the alien spaceship arises out of the fear of unknown.
The aliens, with their bodies hidden behind the smoke and shielded by glass, are a mystery to the humans. They do not resemble anything that humans have seen before. By showing how human written and spoken language is illegible to the aliens, the film breaks the superiority that language assumes. It also shows that, like their language, human beings are merely another species existing in this universe. The aliens not only have a ‘better’ method of communication (one that is not bound by written scripts and does not require any sound), they are also a better race than humans having the ability to see future.

The film also breaks the conception of linearity. By moving back and forth through present and future, we are hardly ever sure about what is happening and what is yet to happen. Especially intriguing is the scene where Ian (played by Jeremy Renner) confesses his love for Louise (played by Amy Adams), and Louise can already foresee their future—marriage, child birth, and divorce—in front of her eyes. This creates confusion as to whether she was simply narrating this incident or living in it – because the first scene shows her interaction with her daughter. If she is living in the present, she is yet to have a daughter. Thus, like the split created by alien spacecraft into the earth’s atmosphere, the film subverts norms and assumptions at multiple levels.

The film shows how there is a continuous tendency of humans to ‘translate’ the unknown into the known. This attempt is showcased by Ian who names the aliens after Abbott and Costello, two famous ‘human’ comedians, thereby trying to humanize the aliens. It also shows an effort to reduce the aliens into mere comedic creatures unworthy of human attention. In the end, however, the questions remain: is Amy’s interpretation of the symbols correct? Doesn’t she ultimately impose her language and meanings onto their signs?



Anandita Pan
Research Scholar,
IIT Kanpur


Aby- A Fuelless Take Off

A brief review on Malayalam movie Aby:

From the burners of controversies and legal battles regarding the plot and script, finally, Aby made a smooth take off. Written by the acclaimed writer Santhosh Echikkanam and directed by debutant Srikant Murali, Aby was able to create an initial frenzy among movie buffs. But, to be frank, the Vineeth Sreenivasan starrer is a run-off- the mill plot.

The story is about a special boy who dreams about flying in the sky ever since his early childhood. Don’t get confused with Siddharth Siva’s recent flick Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho, though the dream of flying is common to both the films. The plot of the film may drive home to your mind Jayasurya’s David & Goliath, too!

Our Aby is so innovative and talented. But, his father doesn’t value his talent. (Now, you may be thinking of our Aadu Thoma in Sphadikam!) And the story goes on with all the usual elements like love, loss, godfather, rejections, obstacles, and finally victory.
The primary problem with the movie is that the whole plot is rendered in an unconvincing way with no originality at all.

The second fatal flaw is the poor characterization of Aby acted out by Vineeth Sreenivasan. The character doesn’t have a stable build and Vineeth doesn’t fit in it. Most of his gestures, dialogues, responses and even the eye movements lack originality. It looks like he is trying to imitate someone and fails miserably.
Suraj Venjarammood’s character provides some entertainment. The rest just toes the line of an age old feel good movie.

TAIL END: We are soon going to see the double of Aby in Prithwiraj’s Vimanam, which came up as a rival project to Aby.

Shruti Haasan: Hot and Gorgeous Image Gallery

Shruti Haasan, the elder daughter of eminent actor Kamal Haasan, is an Indian film actress and singer who works predominantly in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi language films. She has received three Filmfare Awards and has established herself as one of the leading actresses of South Indian cinema. She began her career as a music director with her father's production Unnaipol Oruvan and her own music band and album. 

As a child artist, she sang in films and appeared in a guest role in her father's Hey Ram (2000), before making her adult acting debut in the unsuccessful 2009 Bollywood film, the drama thriller film Luck. She later went on to win critical acclaim for her role in the Walt Disney fantasy film in Telugu, Anaganaga O Dheerudu (2011), Oh My Friend (2011) and her Tamil debut 7aam Arivu (2011). After several successful films like Gabbar Singh (2012), Race Gurram (2014), Vedalam (2015) Srimanthudu (2015), and Singam 3 (2017) , she established herself as one of the leading contemporary actress in Tamil and Telugu cinema. Alongside appearing in Tamil and Telugu films, she has also appeared in several commercially successful Hindi films, including Ramaiya Vastavaiya (2013) and Gabbar Is Back (2015).

In addition to acting, Haasan has also continued her stint in music through work as a singer in Indian languages and has become an established playback singer in India. Today, Shruti Haasan is one among the most talented and glamorous actresses in South Indian cinema. 

Here are some of her all time hot, sexy and gorgeous pictures and HD wallpapers. Just check out the ravishing beauty of Shruti Haasan In HD quality.