Arrival (2016) Explained: Why Did The Husband Leave?

First of all, let me tell you that “Arrival” managed to surprise me in a very pleasant way. The film has so many head-scratching questions. For instance: why did Louise’s husband leave her?

As always, I didn’t have many expectations but hey… Amy Adams is in it. If she’s in that means it’s gonna be good or at least “decent”. So, what is the story about? Amy Adams plays a character named Louise Banks. She’s a linguistics professor and by the tone of the film, a pretty damn good one. One day, out of nowhere, twelve mysterious spacecrafts land in very different parts of the world. What do they want? That’s what everyone is wondering.

arrival ending explained

In the beginning, it’s unclear whether the aliens are here to help or harm. Turns out they are here to help. However, the tension that arose between countries amidst this whole process, just shows how hostile the “human race” is. I mean, “get it together people”! Though, it’s just a fictionalized situation, I’m almost sure it would happen in “real life” as well. It’s almost comical how hostile we are towards each other and other races (extraterrestrial) as well.

Overall, “Arrival” is an “experience”. The special effects were “okay”, but the storytelling was amazing. Now, let’s get down to the ending and the daunting question at the end.

The Ending Of “Arrival” Explained

One of the major twists in “Arrival” is its non-linear story. Why? As a viewer, you think you are watching the events in a chronological order, meaning from present to future. When in reality, the “present” is not really the present but the past. Everything that we’ve seen so far has already happened. So, Louise actually managed to decode the extraterrestrial language and because of that war between nations was also avoided. In addition, the visions that she was having were not “flashbacks” but “flash-forwards”.

The film ends indeed with a very daunting question: “If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?” I’m almost certain that most of you have scratched your heads before just by thinking about this question. In Louise’s case, she made the decision to have her daughter even though she knew she was going to lose her. Some might say it’s dumb, but I guess that’s what free will means. According to the film, certain outcomes are already pre-determined. For instance, Louise’s daughter is going to die no matter what happens, but it’s her choice to conceive her or not. The fact that she chose to have her is truly the most heartbreaking part of the entire film: she rather suffer the loss of her child than missing out the experience of having her in her life.

Why Did Her Husband Leave Her?

Louise chose to have her daughter and then lose her. However, her husband didn’t. Unlike, Louise he didn’t know what the final outcome would be. If he knew about it, maybe he would’ve chosen not to have any children with her. That’s why her husband left her. He was “blind-sided” and couldn’t forgive her for that. In his eyes, she acted selfishly by not giving him nor their daughter a choice.

Overall, I believe “Arrival” hits all the right notes. The sci-fi part of the film is not too far-fetched: there are definitely some parallels between the fictionalized situation and our current reality. The story is “refreshing” as I’ve never seen this plot before. In addition, Amy Adams was an amazing leading lady, there’s no character that she cannot inhabit. Therefore, if you haven’t seen the film… What are you waiting for? Seriously, it’s really good.