Well, it's only a film, let's face it. And does it really matter? I suppose at the end of the day it doesn't.
If anyone is actually interested in this from a sci-fi point of view what I'm going to say will be a spoiler. Actually, that's the interesting rub. It doesn't matter because this film is so opaque that knowing what it's about before you start is the only way you're going to understand it. So I'm doing you a favour.
If as I did, you just start watching it (I knew vaguely it was about aliens arriving, language, etc etc, but not much more than that) then you're going to be thoroughly confused, disappointed, and in the end cynical.
I jest not. I'm not completely foolish and I want a film to succeed and be good - obviously, if even for my own sake - but I couldn't help starting to laugh and make comments to myself. It had that effect. Which is a very bad sign.
I don't know if all the people who've raved about this film knew the premise of it before they started or not. If you know that the first scene isn't present day but technically the future you might feel better. But you don't. Or I didn 't.
If the idea of the film is to severely challenge our ideas of linear time then it succeeds, no question. That is its forte, and very well it does it. However, if as a human being, you want to feel human and enjoy the film then you need to connect with the characters. All great films and stories have done this. They draw you into their characters' lives, you begin to know them, and to know them is to love them.
But here, there's no backstory. I have no idea who the woman was. I have/had no idea who the man was. I do know that the chemistry between them was non-existent. You will realise the absurdity of this when you see it. On the other hand it might have been the whole point, but that doesn't make for a good film.
There's also the usual predictable Hollywood idea of visiting aliens to be confronted by the stupid military who only want to shoot things because they're frightened and ignorant. Like those isolated tribes in the jungle who won't let you near them and fire bows and arrows at helicopters and strangers. For some reason we're always portrayed as ignorant, frightened savages and aliens as the enemy, a threat, to be approached with both hands on a hair trigger.
Of course, the hero of the day is always the one with a tad more guts and initiative who actually behaves normally and goes to see what's happening instead of cowering behind a tank. Well, obviously. But I digress.
So, if you're prepared for the usual stupid 'Let's just shoot them' attitude from the military, a very, very vague meeting and contact with strange creatures from somewhere else, your sense of reality to be jiggered about to the point of invoking sarcastic comments, and no human feeling whatsoever from or between the characters (except maybe mother and daughter but it doesn't last), then you'll love it.
Personally I wanted very much to enjoy it. I like my sci-fi films; I like that kind of thing and I'm good at scientific/philosophical ideas (Interstellar was no problem) but I couldn't. In fact I was driven to sarcasm, and that's a very bad sign.
But the film's had awards, a 94% rating on one movie board, critics eulogising over it, so maybe they knew something I didn't. I know I spent the whole film in a warp trying to connect with the characters and not succeeding because there was nothing to connect with.
As for language and/or linguistics, forget it. The author's a Chinese American. I have a feeling that the real underlying motive is about a Chinese person feeling like an discombobulated alien in America whose people don't understand language character-symbols and we're all having communication troubles. Build on that the old, worn cliche about humanity having to be saved from itself then you've got it. But only badly and vaguely because even that is not an act of mercy, it's a trade-off, an investment in an unseen future. (When the future is convenient to the story it really is the future, otherwise it's all mixed up).
What's wrong with this whole thing is there's no love in it, therefore there's no real film experience. At least ET and Close Encounters made you cry a bit. At least you were rooting for the guys in Interstellar. The same thing with Gravity, awful though it was. Here, the only star interest is some extremely cerebral, and therefore disconnected, idea of time distortion - and, frankly, who cares. But at least it's got me talking about it. But probably only because it's mysterious. Which might be a polite word for confusing.
So, if you're going to see it, be aware that it doesn't start in the nice sensible present like a proper story, you're watching the future, except they don't tell you that. Just bear in mind that events as they unfold may not be linear and you might, just might, get through it without laughing. Maybe.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, there is a serious element to it too because time may not be very linear depending on your mindset... but we better not get into that.