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September 17, 2010 / TerranceTheTrailerTrasher

A Second Look at the “Never Let Me Go” Trailer

Terrance the Trailer Trasher:

Michael, I know you saw “Never Let Me Go.” I have not. We split on our review of the trailer. You were interested in seeing it because of its connection to “The Remains of the Day” and I was interested in avoiding it for the same reason. I have since read about half a dozen reviews, including yours, all of which give away an important element of the film that is not revealed in the trailer. Half those reviews, including yours, do not bother with “spoiler” warnings since, from what I gather, the “secret” is revealed very early in the movie and not as a final twist like in “The Sixth Sense.” (I also understand that in the novel, the secret is revealed a bit later than in the movie.) Knowing what I know now, had the trailer advertised the movie as a sci-fi movie instead of a Merchant-Ivory-style film, or at least hinted there was some drastically different genre lurking below the surface, I would have definitely given it a chance. I’m curious what your thoughts on the trailer are now, looking back. Do you think if it had given you more accurate expectations you might have liked the film more? Do you think there was a reason for the trailer to hide something that is revealed near the beginning of the film?

Michael the Moviegoer:

I never realized that the basic concept or premise in a film’s plot could ever be thought of as a “spoiler.” The dystopian sci-fi element in the story of “Never Let Me Go” is NOT a spoiler. It’s a genre. When the film hits DVD shelves, I hope the Targets and the Best Buys of the world will properly place it in the science-fiction section where it belongs. Can you call something a “spoiler” if it’s completely revealed in the first 15 minutes of a film? The trailer doesn’t even hint at what the movie is about. But with Time Magazine proclaiming the book as the “novel of the decade,” it’s possible they just thought everyone already knew what it was about. But the trailer tries to make it look like something else. Not really a Merchant-Ivory film, but a strange un-official sequel to last year’s “An Education” only because it has Carey Mulligan in an English schoolgirl outfit again. It’s a wrong-headed trailer that is only going to attract the wrong audience for the film, thereby creating horrible word-of-mouth.

The sci-fi dystopian romance “Never Let Me Go” opened on four screens on Wednesday looking nothing like its trailer.

We’ll be back next week with more trailer reviews, including the new Kristen Bell romcom “You Again.”

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