Terminal is Margot Robbie’s self-produced follow-up to the well-received I, Tonya, for which Robbie received a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars. What’s great about the teaser for Terminal is that it is not something that purports to be a teaser, when it divulges much of the plot – one really cannot ascertain about it much beyond the overall tone of the work, which clocks in at under a minute.
Amidst the distant screech of a waterphone and various atmospheric sound effects, Robbie’s character intones in a creepy, layered? voice that “there is a place like no other on earth.” The sound of footsteps is as far as the trailer gets towards establishing a tempo.
Twenty-two seconds in, we’ve been treated to a few dimly-lit shots and Robbie’s mildly disconcerting voice, but nothing concrete yet. At 0:26 we see a hallway glowing an effervescent red, and then a second hallway glowing blue. Robbie assets that you “need to be as mad as a hatter, which luckily I am.”
And that’s it. However, at 0:39 two very notable things occur as the main cast appears in neon signage one by one on the title card. First, perhaps, is the inclusion of Mike Myers, whose name people haven’t associated with major movies for a while if the YouTube comments are anything to go by. More pertinent to this blog, however, is the clear whistling of the popular folk tune “Danny Boy.” It immediately brings to mind the famous whistle from “Kill Bill”; Robbie’s placement as another femme fatale type character reinforces this interpretation.
Satisfyingly, and suitable for a teaser, it leaves one with far more questions than answers. What, if anything, does “Danny Boy” have to do with the film? Despite that lack of immediately available context, the repurposing of this innocent tune in a nefarious atmosphere is suitable to the teaser’s goal of focusing on the feeling of the film and inciting curiosity, rather than giving away the plot.
– Curtis Perry