Well, this is a fascinating trailer! 2018 continues to look like a much better year for films than 2017. The old dinosaurs, Stars and Directors, are stepping back and new faces are getting a chance to shine. This film is a perfect match of a new actor and a new creative team behind her. Which came together to create a new story.
This trailer is just so well-made. Forget the content, look at the way it builds. The “hook” of the film is showing a young woman in the typical role of daughter, bride, and so on. And then adding in the idea of her as a patriot, in a typical female patriot way, looking at the flag and so on. Before, finally, revealing her training in fighting, spycraft, even shooting a gun. Training which, chronologically, probably took place before the rest of the events in the trailer, but which they wanted to save for the end after easing us into the idea of her as a spy.
The other “hook” of the film is Alia’s face. As soon as this movie was announced, I reacted with “Alia as a spy? But she’s so young!” And that’s what the trailer is about. Constantly returning to her face, reminding us how very very young this woman is, and fragile, and unprotected.
Now, here’s what I find really fascinating! We have seen this movie before, but reversed. That is, instead of a fragile young woman with a heart of steel, we had a steely woman with a heart of mush. Remember Hero: Love Story of a Spy? Preity agrees to become a spy partly for patriotism, but partly for love of Sunny Deol. And her “reward” is being able to marry Sunny Deol. And her tragedy is losing Sunny Deol. Her story is a love story (oo oo! I just got the title!), not a patriot story.
But this film, it is the opposite. On the surface, Alia is in a love story. She is a young fragile innocent woman married to a handsome young man, her life should revolve around him and her love for him. But underneath the surface, she isn’t fragile at all, or innocent. She is stronger than everyone else in the movie, and that is what makes her powerful, this hidden strength no one can imagine.
(Also, Alia doesn’t spend the whole movie carrying around a friggin’ lamb as a visual metaphor. Nor is there a complicated bend over backward explanation to make her a Kashmiri Muslim girl who is technically by birth Hindu)