Arrival: Amy Adams' Louise Is the Biggest Monster

In Denis Villeneuve's Arrival, many fans were wondering when the trailers dropped how the alien invasion would play out, given Hollywood's propensity for firefights as seen with the likes of Independence Day and Battleship. The 2016 film, though, stuck to the director's auteur style, focusing on the human condition and painting a character portrait of mankind's inability to work together as the aliens seemed set to take the planet. However, as the beings offered a nefarious gift they deemed "the weapon," by the time the movie wrapped, it's clear the biggest monster isn't the aliens in their giant pods; it's actually the star of the movie.

This is none other than the expert linguist, Louise (Amy Adams), who was tasked with leading the United States' mission to decode the alien language ahead of 11 other world powers. She reached the furthest, quickly connecting to the language and understanding it helped her see time like the aliens did: in a non-linear fashion. It's why her memories allowed glimpses into the future, offering her premonitions of a child and marriage she never had.

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This allowed her to convince China to step down its attack, with the other nations rejoining the coalition so they could use this tech to beef Earth up and help the aliens 3,000 years later in what's essentially a closed time loop story. The problem is, though, Louise ends up betraying her physicist colleague, Ian (Jeremy Renner), via a self-serving act.

Ian was in love with Louise after working on the job, doing everything to protect and believe in her, even when her country turned on her. But in her premonitions, Louise realized Ian was the father of the sick daughter she'd end up having, who would eventually die of some mysterious, incurable disease.

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The movie confirms at the very end through a montage that Ian would become angry that Louise put him through all this, keeping it a secret that their girl, Hannah, was destined for death. Some might argue that he's a coward and monster for abandoning them as he should have stuck through, but Louise is the manipulative one, puppet mastering him as she needed a sense of family, having been so alone and dedicated to work her entire life.

It's a brutal lie of omission, granting Ian a temporary respite from his own life, only for that joy to be taken away. The fact that Louise held out intel, gave him the dream and then hid how it'd be taken away in just over a decade is totally selfish. Granted, it's understandable, but let's be real -- she brought a kid into the world who'd physically and mentally suffer, knowing her dad left.

Louise didn't attempt to change history at all as she didn't want to risk losing Hannah's birth, but ultimately, it was a discussion she should have had with Ian as it robbed him of something critical and doomed a child before she was ever conceived. Seeing as free will and choice were key themes in the film, it brought full circle that while Louise had good intentions and did save the world, she was still someone who hurt the people closest to her via this monumental decision.

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Renaldo Matadeen (7030 Articles Published)

I'm a former Chemical Engineer. It was boring so I decided to write about things I love. On the geek side of things, I write about comics, cartoons, video games, television, movies and basically, all things nerdy. I also write about music in terms of punk, indie, hardcore and emo because well, they rock! If you're bored by now, then you also don't want to hear that I write for ESPN on the PR side of things. And yes, I've written sports for them too! Not bad for someone from the Caribbean, eh? To top all this off, I've scribed short films and documentaries, conceptualizing stories and scripts from a human interest and social justice perspective. Business-wise, I make big cheddar (not really) as a copywriter and digital strategist working with some of the top brands in the Latin America region. In closing, let me remind you that the geek shall inherit the Earth. Oh, FYI, I'd love to write the Gargoyles movie for Disney. YOLO. That said, I'm on Twitter @RenaldoMatadeen. So holler.

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