Siberia is Keanu Reeves’ latest filmic foray; it offers a similar dramatic palette that whets the appetites of John Wick fans, with a Russian twist.
After a brief shot of Reeves walking through the Siberian winter, we get a shot of Moscow proper, alongside both a tubular bell and a double bass – this timbral curiosity proves to be a theme throughout the trailer, as different tones and rhythms jostle for attention and leave the audience perpetually slightly unsure of what comes next. A sync point at 0:14 between the in-film elevator chime and the double bass is a nice touch. Tabla drums enter around 0:20 as the dialogue launches into the plot; by now there is no doubt that this is clearly a suspense-driven, thriller feature.
With the studio title card at 0:22, there is a marked shift in rhythm as what once was a brooding standard meter shift to a fairly excited triple meter fronted by a judicious blend of pizzicato and arco strings. Strong rhythmic accents in the vein of epic trailer percussion accompany the reveal of the diamonds which appear to be key to the plot. Some rather unusual and intriguing bassoon enters around 0:32, modulating from minor to the parallel major key. The music stops in order to foreground Reeves loading his gun at 0:41, which incidentally also leads into the next part of this standard triptych trailer narrative.
At 0:42 we get yet another marked shift in musical tone. Blaring synthetic bass is contrasted by active, light percussion, including shakers and tabla, as the action clearly picks up (“you’re in some sort of trouble, I think,” a woman with a heavy Russian accent demurs in Reeves’ arms).
At 1:17 the pace changes yet again, slowing down and letting blaring, droning, slightly detuned synths take centre stage alongside asynchronous orchestral stabs and shots, with a steady quarter rhythm pinning things down, interleaving yet more plot development with title cards. At 1:33 the sound drops of suddenly and completely in favour of gunfire, more similar in flavour to a jump scare in a horror trailer than the standard action trailer fare.
The musical climax occurs at about 1:42, with the main title card appearing shortly thereafter at 1:47. Curiously, there is no release date yet, instead opting for a promise that the film is “coming soon.”
Overall, this trailer for Siberia constitutes a fairly unique mix of sounds, timbres, rhythms, tempi, and generic markers – yet, it also manages to be cohesive perhaps because of this sense of spontaneity and intrigue, assisting in communicating the emotional depth of the narrative.
– Curtis Perry