Author: jarods83 from Los Angeles, CA
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's more of a horror movie than a sci-fi one. Personally I think it spent way too much effort on building up suspense most of the time yet in the end I didn't feel it was capable of justifying itself - the long-awaited revelation of the story never came. With this, I consider neither the story telling nor philosophy has been executed convincingly. Those interposed and flashback sections seemed strange and awkward - they may be wanted for shaping personae's characters and background but the effect seemed only marginal... somehow they slowed down the tempo and turn this into a long-winded movie.
This movie is not for kids and, if you don't like to be scared, skip it.
© 本文版权归作者 eleanorigby 所有，任何形式转载请联系作者。
在费城的一个小影院里看了arrival 首映. 看完，感触颇深。我意识到这不只是一个关于人类试图理解外星语言的电影，而是一个关于人类试图理解对方的电影。在昨天凌晨知晓的美国总统选举结果后，我觉得这个看似科幻的故事，和现实和现在这个时刻其实非常相关。其实转念一想，电影和故事源于生活，于是在深度剖析人性之后，有时候竟能预测未来。这是一个关于时间的电影，关于时间是否可以以非线性的方式存在。于是在弥漫着大选的情绪的11月，这部电影显得尤为珍贵。但对我自己来说，我是一个外来人，我能理解语言文化不同找到共同目的的艰难。也能看到很多时候不理解的本质原因并不是因为无法沟通，而是因为不愿沟通。 I watched the film “arrival” in a small theatre in Philly tonight. After watching it, I realized that this is not just a story about us understanding the aliens, but also a story about us understanding each other on the planet. I found it especially relevant at this moment, after what happened during the U.S presidential election. After a second thought, I do realize that film and stories take inspiration from real life events. Thus after a deep dive into humanity, it can sometimes even predict the future. This is a film about time, about whether time can exists in a nonlinear manner. During November, when the whole nation are filled with bittersweet emotions from the election, I found the movie very touching. But as to myself, as an outsider to this country, I can understand the difficulties of finding common ground. However, I also realize the fundamental reasons for misunderstanding resides not on the fact that people cannot communicate, but that they are unwilling to do so.
Crowd Report: Watched this movie on Christmas day. The crowd is a mix of seniors and Chinese speaking audience of various ages. Theater is about 60% full for a 2pm show. And adults please don't bring young kids to this movie. Some scenes are so brutal I have to cover my eyes.
The critics reviews are terrible and I was on the fence about seeing this movie. Zhang Yimou's films from the last ten years had been disappointing starting with "Hero". I felt he caved in too much to commercial interests and government interference. But make no mistake, the critics are overly harsh on this film. Flowers of War is a solid film that worth seeing. It's Zhang's best in ten years.
电影为了宣传专门做了一个关于跨文化交流的短片。短片就问了一个问题：当你与语言不通的人试图找到共通处的时候，你会做什么？贯穿影片的是导演或者原作者一致在问的问题，语言真的可以改变我们的思维方式吗？当我在做梦的时候，我会用“他们”的语言思考吗？在写作这篇文章的过程里，我或许也在慢慢意识到自己，作为一个在美国的中国留学生，对母语的有些生疏，和对英语并非完全的不花额外努力的运用。我对两种语言都很熟悉，又或许都很陌生。我在用两种语言思考，梦里会有两种语言吗？我并不知道答案。但我想，重要的是，两个对立面，是否可以共存，是否万事一定要有始终，一定要有黑白。假如两个其实是最好的平衡呢？ For promotional purposes, Paramount made a shot about intercultural communication. The whole video asks one question: "What would you do if you have to discover what you have in common, with someone who speaks a different language?" Throughout the film, the director and the writer constantly ask the question: will language truly change how we think? When I'm in my dream state, will I think using "their" (as the other's) language? When I am writing this article, I also gradually realizes my alienation with my mother tongue and my inability of effortlessly write in English. I'm so familiar with both language, yet I might also be so far away from both. I think in both language, will I dream in both? I do not know the answer. But I think, the most important thing is whether two opposite sides can coexist, whether everything has to have an beginning and an end, and whether there has to be the black and the white. And whether the two coexists provide the best balance?
- About the "white man saving the native" angle - this is unfair criticism. Bale did have a lot of screen time but the movie's heart really lies in the heroic act of 13 courtesans. Chinese audience totally get the reference when Yu Mo says prostitutes in China have a reputation
- they are oblivious of their country's troubles and have no national conscience - and they decide to change that with their actions. Bale's character and transformation are really inspired by the 13 women and is the backdrop, not the center of the story, hence the title "Flowers of the War".
我想承认，我并不是一个科幻小说类别的忠实粉丝，也从未对科幻小说产生过浓厚的兴趣，因为我觉得那些故事，离我的生活太远了，不能让我产生共鸣。但是arrival并不属于我想象中的那类科幻小说，它的故事要复杂很多。 I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi stories and has been constantly holding reservations to the genre. I just simply thought those stories are too far away from my life and cannot evoke my sympathy. But Arrival is not the typical sci-fi story that I would have expected and is a much more complicated story.
About criticism of excessive sentimentality and far-fetched plot - Zhang used the reluctant hero archetype on Miller and the arc of story is relatively conventional. Zhang might have also used too many slow-mo shots and prolonged some sequences, but I feel the sentimental parts of the story are effective and consistent with his style. The characters are layered enough for me to believe their actions. For example, not all the courtesans are on board to replace students. Many of the courtesans think they are lying to the students to get them off the tower, but they decide to actually do it. Part of that decision is the desire to do what is courageous, and another part the motherly nature to protect the young and vulnerable. This aspect is probably a bit understated in the film, but it's clearly there.
About the portrayal of Japanese soldiers - many critics accused this movie of one dimensional in portraying Japanese soldiers, I disagree. The most memorable Japanese character, played by Kobayashi, is obviously very cultured and very conflicted as well. The decision to take the student to the "party" seems to come from higher up in the military and not Kato's decision to make. There are some stories there in the Japanese military I would liked to see explored. The actions of regular Japanese soldiers portrayed in this movie, however, is supported by historical testimonials and photographic evidence. I found them accurate at the least and even watered-down. It's pure hypocrisy to criticize this movie for giving an honest portrayal of brutality during Japanese Occupation of Nanjing and giving praises to movies that portray equally ghastly holocaust in Germany. And accusations that this movie is propaganda against Japan is simply unfounded - this is a war movie about courage, sacrifice and human compassion during very extreme circumstances. It simply make us reflect and appreciate the peace we are enjoying right now.
Some highlight worth mentioning: The boy who played George delivered a wonderful and nuanced performance. He even overshadows Bale in some scenes; The Nanjing dialect in this movie is great and adds considerable authenticity to the characters; the music is wonderfully low-key and appropriately Chinese.
早早就看了预告片，可是下午听了制片人之一在学校的一个小小讲座，和读完电影课上要求的剧本之后稍稍改变了自己对影片的期待。但是arrival完完全全超越了或者颠覆我的期待。剧本和小说讲了非常真实的故事，但我觉得很难用图片或者视频去展现出来。整个电影都是关于翻译和理解对方是如此艰难，不仅仅是地球上的种族之间，也是和其他种族之间。真正的交流和理解，需要勇气，努力，牺牲和很多的爱。 I've watched the trailer a long time ago. But after listening to the lecture by one of the co-producers of the film and reading the scripts for a screenwriting class, I've adjusted my expectations. But arrival totally contradicted and surpassed my expectations. The scripts are amazing, but it is so hard to translate the words of the scripts onto the screen, and the director did an amazing job. This whole movie is about the difficulty of translation and understanding each other, not only our species, but also the other. And it takes courage, great effort, sacrifice and lots of love to accomplish the mission of communication and understanding.
然而导演做到了，就像翻译了那些永远不可能理解的语言到大荧幕上。看完我的第一反应是电影节奏很慢，并没有科幻特效的噱头。是打着科幻电影名义的艺术电影。再仔细回想，觉得其实导演真的很用心的在讲述这个双重的故事，一个是关于“她”的故事，另一个是关于“人性”的故事。怪不得imdb8.5的评分。感恩最近看了不少好电影。 But the filmmaker accomplishes this mission, of translating the impossible language onto the screen. My first reaction after watching the film is that the pace is really slow and it did not follow the stereotypical track of an action-driven sci-fi film. It is an artistic film with a scientific fiction vibe. After careful reflection, I appreciate that the director is sincerely telling the double-storyline, one story about her life, the other story about "humanity". It deserves the IMDB rating of 8.5. I'm really grateful that I've watched so many great films lately.
电影其实就是一个平台，一个试图翻译不同语言但是讲述人类故事的介质。感谢有导演在讲关于你的和我们的未来的故事。这是一个关于人类的故事。看完，我没有哭，但思考后，我觉得其实它很好的解释了我现在生活中的一些很困惑的问题。一些似乎关乎宿命又似乎关乎选择的问题。我们有我们的宿命，但我们同时可以选择如果被给予选择后，去不去改变既定的轨道。 Film is a medium, a medium that tries to translate different language into one unified human story. I'm grateful that there are filmmakers who are telling the story of your life and our lives. THIS IS A HUMAN STORY. I didn't cry after watching the film, as I would have expected. But after reflection, I think it illuminates and answers some of the questions that I've been confused about, questions about my own life at the moment. These questions seemly related to destiny and choice. We have our destiny, but at the same time, we could choose whether to change the existing trajectory if we are given the choice.
引用台词里的一句话，我现在不在相信开始和结束。因为有些日子定义了那些超越你生命的故事。影片一直在试图回答一个问题：如果你知道未来会发生什么，你会改变吗？还是你会像生活本该的那个样子去活？对于路易斯来说，她的回答是那么坚定。在快结束的时候，再引用电影里最喜欢的一句台词: 你选择继续生活，尽管你知道会发生什么。 I'll cite a quote from the scripts: “But now I’m not so sure I believe in beginnings and endings. There are days that define your story beyond your life.” This whole film is trying to answer this one fundamental question: "If you know what your life is going to be like in the future, will you change it? Or will you live it as it is, as it is supposed to be? For Louise, her answer is a sure yes. I hope to end by quoting my favorite line from the movie: "You choose life. Even knowing what is to come."
我对这篇电影的评价很正面，的确，这个电影有一些并不完美的东西。然而我并不是一个专业影评人，也并不需要去从专业影评人的角度去分析它的镜头角度，人物刻画，和以及是否对原著忠诚。我想写的仅仅是这个电影让我思考的很多东西。大多都关于这一刻正在打字的我自己，和我对未来的自己的一些琐碎想法。我仅仅是喜欢电影，喜欢它让我思考的能力。喜欢它给了我很多勇气。 I gave an overwhelmingly positive review of this film. Indeed, there're so many parts of this film that is less than perfect. But I'm not a professional film reviewer, nor do I have to analyze the camera angle, character depth and whether it is faithful to the novel. I only want to write about the many things that the film has made me to reflect upon, most of them are about me, the "me" that is typing at this moment. I just love films, love that a single film can make me think so much. Film gives me courage. 原著的小说本来叫做story of your life，我想这或许就是arrival的真谛。这是你的故事，也是我们的故事。 I think I maybe able to understand the true essence of "Arrival", it is the story of your life and our lives.
© 本文版权归作者 katherineliu96 所有，任何形式转载请联系作者。