As the common cliche goes, A picture is worth a thousand words. But when it comes to movies, a picture or in this case, a poster needs to serve multiple purposes. It should have the intended effect of drawing in the audience while at the same time provide some hints around the story and plot lines. Over time, one sees enough generic looking posters of the lead actor staring back, usually with a focused angry look or presenting a sideways look. But the real winners are those which stand out through sheer dint of being different. Without wasting any more time, here are the top 10….
10. The Adventures of Tintin: This pretty much looks like a generic poster that I described above. However, what elevates is the message that it communicates. The image Tintin has is that of a globe trotting reporter with Snowy with him always & that fringe of hair on the front standing up. However, the distinguishing aspect from any generic poster is the fact that Tintin’s face is kind of shrouded in darkness, so that you dont see the full aspect of it. Also, keeping in mind the general adventure theme of Tintin comics, we have the flaming plane and the the ship. And as nod to the fans of the comics, the ship is the Unicorn tying in with the title of the movie. The globe referencing the travel that Tintin undertakes. kind of points towards the fact that Tintin as a character is more popular across the world than America.
9. The Rum Diary/ The Mechanic – Both of these movies kind of have a similar theme behind their posters, expressing the movie title/theme through the use of the props that kind of define the movie. The Rum Diary, a movie that lurches from one drunken situation to another, pretty much uses the Rum bottle to sum up the movie poster. Rum bottles of every kind forming the title of the movie. Pretty quirky. Mechanic, on the other hand, is about an assassin. So the distant image on the poster is that of a gun. Breaking it down further, one sees, its made up of other smaller guns & each leading up to an important part of the gun (Cliche alert), the lock, stock and barrel, the trigger, the safety et al. The color orangish-red for all the guns denoting the spilling of blood
8. The Tree of Life: One of those posters that really stand out because of the lighting and the image on the poster. Keeping in with the theme of life, a new born baby’s feet nestling in the hands of his dad. Its an amazingly striking image & the light effect adds to the appeal of the poster
7. The Devil’s Double: How does one make a movie poster about the over-the-top psycho that was Uday Hussein & by association, his double. A guy all about power & wealth. You make an over-the-top poster. The Gold patina to the poster represents the wealth that Uday had to play with & the guns, a direct representation of the analogy, that power flows from the barrel of a gun. Also pointing to the general debauchery of Uday Hussain, the poster is also suggestive with regards to Uday’s seating posture. Quite a brilliant eye capturing poster & loaded with details.
6. Anonymous: Another detail loaded poster. Anonymous’ premise that Shakespeare did not write his plays, finds outlet through the poster. An ink splattered image, the quill of the writer & the writer himself in hiding without showing the face. Quite a brilliant poster
5. Real Steel: One particular reader of my blog will be extremely happy that this movie has been included :). Quite an awesome poster too. For a movie about an underdog boxing robot that refuses to give up, the poster does a phenomenal job of displaying it. The wearied, almost beaten robot that still refuses to give up. Dangling on the ropes but still willing to use it to strike back while all the time the audience roots behind it. The logo on the Real Steel almost being the metallic types. A lot of details in what is essentially a simple poster
4. Shame: A simple & stark poster. Disturbed bed sheets on a bed pointing towards just one thing. And for a movie that deals with sexual addiction that Micheal Fassbender suffers from, its quite an awesome representation. Lest it not be mistaken, the poster also depicts the depression on the bed on both sides, quite indicating that there were 2 people on the bed
3. Midnight in Paris – A quirky movie that demands for a quirky poster. For a movie dealing with the past as much as it does with the present and also dealing with the arts, the poster is a playful mix of a painting on one end and a photoshopped image at the other end and Owen Wilson as the guy caught in middle. Also, can be taken as an indicator of the time. The painted image of the past is an indicator that the past can be colored to give any image you want, in this movie, a very exalted image
2- Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Remember one of my pet peeves about movie posters that I had mentioned before of lead actors on screen just giving you a hard angry look & how they seem extremely generic. The same look if done correctly can really make an impact & this poster does exactly that. It is different because of the subject in this case, a simian. You have Ceaser (the ape) looking at you with almost undisguised hostility but at the same time there is an intelligent pensive quality to the way he looks out. Plus the whole blackening out of the background really brings the face into focus and you cannot look anywhere but at the face. Stark.
1 – Ides of March – Wow. There are simply no words enough to describe what an outstanding poster this one. Especially considering how it in ties back to the movie, this is simply a breathtaking piece of creation. The half and half profile, of Clooney & Gosling, fits perfectly. The symmetry in their face shapes is almost uncanny like the 2 actors were cast since they fit the poster. The caption of the time magazine also is quite apt. Who is the real power in this relationship? Clooney or the man behind, Gosling. Just check the attention to small things on the poster. The side swept hair of Clooney just merges seamlessly into Gosling’s hair. At an extremely meta level, check the way the magazine ends on Clooney. The ME in Time stand out over Clooney. Sensational poster. Terrific movie.