Arrival and Common Ground

Something happened on Friday that hasn’t happened to me in years: I went to the theater to see a movie, and even though I was 40 minutes early, it was sold out.

This, of course, only made me want to see the movie even more! So I bought tickets to a later show that night and returned to watch it.

The movie was Arrival, and it did not disappoint. Amy Adams is wonderful for many reasons, and one of them is that she picks great scripts–I always trust an Adams selection.

I don’t want to say much about the movie, but here’s the hook in case you haven’t heard of it: A few alien spacecraft arrive on Earth, and various governments try different methods of communication to see why they’re here.

At it’s heart, the movie is about communication–those were my favorite scenes. So I was delighted to find an absolutely brilliant marketing video for the movie that tackles the subject of communicating with someone whose language doesn’t resemble your own.

Again, I don’t want to spoil anything–the video is less than 2 minutes long. It’s basically just a series of clips of two people in a room trying to find common ground with one another…except they don’t speak the same language.

I’d recommend that you stop watching it at the 1:25 mark (when the teaser for Arrival begins), as it gives a way a few key moments of the film.

I can’t recall the last time I tried to speak with someone who didn’t speak at least some English. Have you had that happen? How did it go? Were you able to communicate without a shared language?