Poll

Louise Banks (Amy Adams) in Arrival:

had no choice.
5 (62.5%)
is a selfish shit.
3 (37.5%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Author Topic: Arrival  (Read 2600 times)

St. Martin the Bald

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #160 on: September 13, 2017, 08:33:18 AM »
Maybe this was the point of the film - it's certainly generated a lot of great discussion here.
I'm going to do a rewatch today to find more info on the Ian notification issue. The timeline is important to many - although if the baby doesn't happen then they never avoid the global conflict that almost broke out (non zero sum game) - there's more at stake than Ian's precious feelings of male outrage.

My feeling is there should be a third choice: her choice was courageous and for the good of humanity
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 05:31:48 PM by St. Martin the Bald »
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #161 on: September 13, 2017, 08:53:05 AM »
What does her kid have to do with the situation?
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jdc

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #162 on: September 13, 2017, 10:53:34 AM »
I really would have to rewatch it again which I am not sure I want to do, but is there any point in the film that her decisions are changed by having knowledge of the non-linear timeline? If so, then I might have to change my opinion to the film just being shit as you wouldn't be able to function with the knowledge you could completely change your world and reality by just missing the train or any other random event
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #163 on: September 13, 2017, 11:13:42 AM »
Her decisions don't change. She learns about future decisions she will make.
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oldkid

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #164 on: September 13, 2017, 05:28:34 PM »
I don't think that she had a choice to have her daughter.  She saw her daughter existed and the end and the process.  She was already in place.

Could she have spoken to Ian?  Possibly.  And if she could, she should have.  Before she did.  But it is possible she couldn't have. 

I am also of the opinion that it is not immoral to chose existence for another, even though that life has suffering in it. 

I had a conversation with my son the other day in which he told me that if I had known that he would be born on the Autism spectrum, that my DNA contained the likelihood that he would be born with it, he would have preferred that I had not had children.  He would rather not exist.

On the other hand, I have seen days and years of him living with great joy and energy and vibrancy and he shared that with all around him.  On those days, he would have preferred to existed.  I could not make the choice to make him not exist, even though he has times that he wished I had made that choice.
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St. Martin the Bald

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #165 on: September 13, 2017, 05:35:45 PM »
Even in spite of her alleged withholding of facts - why isn't Ian a shit for bailing on his terminally ill child?
He sheds all accountability AND gets to be a martyr because (supposedly) Louise is the bad person here, not even human by some estimates?
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MartinTeller

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #166 on: September 13, 2017, 10:52:55 PM »
The important question, however, is, insofar as we make decisions we cannot escape, despite our knowledge of future consequences, why are those the decisions we made or were destined to make? Why was the state of the universe one where Adams had the kid instead of one where she did not? If she had been a woman who had never had children she would have been equally unable to change that post understanding the heptapods than she was in the other situation. So what destines her towards one set of events and not the other one?

The answer is that she makes a decision. At some point she makes the decision and it is the decision she was always going to make. She decides to get pregnant (or at least, not have an abortion) knowing the kid's going to die painfully and she would always have done that. That's the kind of person she is, the kind that takes that deal. She is the kind of person who would not give her husband any say in the matter or warn him of what's coming.

This is the crux of what I've been trying to say. I don't really understand the "she has no choice" option. Just because she's seen a thing happen, she goes into automatic zombie mode when it's time for the thing to actually happen? Or how does that work? I feel like "has no choice" is putting the cart before the horse. There is no outside force dictating her actions. The visions she sees are of the reality she exists in and helped create. If she hates seafood, she wouldn't see a vision of herself greedily chowing a shrimp cocktail (and then think, "welp, I guess I'm gonna have to do that the next time someone puts a shrimp cocktail in front of me...."). She sees herself having the child (and not telling Ian until way later) because that's what she would do, will do, and did.

Even in spite of her alleged withholding of facts - why isn't Ian a shit for bailing on his terminally ill child?
He sheds all accountability AND gets to be a martyr because (supposedly) Louise is the bad person here, not even human by some estimates?

Who said Ian isn't a shit? Who called him a martyr? Yeah, that's a shitty thing to do also. But the movie focuses a lot more on Louise, and doesn't seem to even acknowledge the moral gray area of her choices. Not that it needs to, mind you. It just left me with a bad taste in my mouth concerning her character.

FWIW, my feelings about the film are mostly positive.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #167 on: September 14, 2017, 06:13:17 AM »
Even in spite of her alleged withholding of facts - why isn't Ian a shit for bailing on his terminally ill child?
He sheds all accountability AND gets to be a martyr because (supposedly) Louise is the bad person here, not even human by some estimates?

Who said Ian isn't a shit? Who called him a martyr? Yeah, that's a shitty thing to do also. But the movie focuses a lot more on Louise, and doesn't seem to even acknowledge the moral gray area of her choices. Not that it needs to, mind you. It just left me with a bad taste in my mouth concerning her character.

Yeah, no one's going around and calling Ian a good guy, there's no need to insist upon the fact. I would argue though, that he was put into an impossible position by a being with superpowers and higher cognisance who fully took advantage of him, and despite being a deadbeat, he is also a victim, and his deadbeatness is partly motivated by weakness. But yeah, don't abandon your kids you guys.

FWIW, my feelings about the film are mostly positive.

I should remind myself of this more often.

Martin, did you feel the movie agreed with us in that how we read it was what it was trying to say or did you get the impression it was trying to say something different? I came out of it thinking Villeneuve made a denouement that had nothing to do with the message he intended to put in the movie stemming from a different understanding of how time perception and agency work.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #168 on: September 14, 2017, 08:37:41 AM »
I think that the treatment of how time and agency work for Louise is ambiguous by design (because, really, any attempted breakdown of how time "travel" works quickly becomes convoluted and then tedious... which is where this thread is headed soon). I am not sure Villeneuve considered the possible reading of Louise's ethics as questionable. Honestly, just 15-20 seconds of the scene where Louise breaks the news to Ian (showing a justified response of "you knew BEFORE WE CONCEIVED?!?") would have gone a long way towards giving the movie some added moral depth. I think the film does Ian a real disservice by dismissing him as merely the father who couldn't hack it when things got tough (again, I'm not excusing his actions either).

pixote

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Re: Arrival
« Reply #169 on: September 14, 2017, 01:26:48 PM »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.