Life of Pi
I’ve not read the book this movie is based on, so I’m going in cold. This trailer only traffics in broad strokes, vaguely highlighting “triumph.” That’s fine, teaser trailers aren’t supposed to give too much away. They are, however, supposed to present a tiny morsel of the movie in a way that makes people want more. This trailer doesn’t really do that. Although the rest of the trailer looks beautiful, it opens in a driving rainstorm where the rain does not look real. Rain has to look real. After that, we see our protagonist in a lifeboat with a tiger. It appears he takes great pains to make sure the tiger doesn’t eat him, but it seems to me that the tiger would be able to eat him if he wanted to. The rest of the trailer then revolves their dual survival, which seems unlikely. They don’t appear to have any food, and they’re in the middle of the ocean. Instead of lingering on this though, the trailer throws magic at us. Why? Obviously because this coming of age story is so magical. What a mess. I need to see another trailer, this isn’t doing it for me.
It’s a sharp contrast to switch from Life of Pi to Chasing Mavericks. The former is weird and unconventional, while the later is filled with clichés. The A plot is that someone (Jonny Weston) who wants to do something no one believes he can do. After intense preparation against a probably-contrived time limit and a setback or two, he will of course succeed. In this case, he is trying to surf the biggest wave in the world. That could lend itself to some cool visuals, but nothing about the trailer makes it seem like an exciting topic. Meanwhile, the B plot is Weston finding a father figure in Gerard Butler, who is his surfing mentor. It is probably better to say that they find each other, because that’s what the trailer hints at. Also, that’s the way clichéd stories always go. If you like surfing, see this movie. If you like Gerard Butler, see this movie. Otherwise, you’ll be able to predict what’s going to happen.
I’ve not read the book this movie is based on either. I need to read more. While I was able to muddle through the Life of Pi trailer, I have no hope of comprehending this trailer. Here’s what I have been able to comprehend: bad things have always happened and always will happen. Also, people tend to follow patterns. I don’t have any idea how any of these time periods will be interwoven, but I am looking forward to seeing Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Sturgess try.