Released 12/16/2016 Rated: PG-13
The instant I saw this trailer, I knew I had to see this movie. I love all the names attached, the story looked incredible, and overall it was just going to be amazing. The marketing was slightly different from the actual film, and I am a bit bummed by that, BUT it was still really good. I won’t go into the end reveal, because that is something you should experience for yourself, but I will talk about how the story differed from the marketing. Personally, I think if it had been marketed as it actually is, I wouldn’t have been all that interested to see it. With that being said, if this is a film you want to see, and want to retain the magic that the trailer has shown, it may be best not to read any further.
So the trailer shows Will Smith’s character, Howard, writing letters to Death, Time, and Love after the loss of his daughter, and they answer him. In the film, three of Howard’s colleagues and friends hire a trio of actors to portray Death, Time, and Love upon finding said letters. They do this as a means to shake Howard out of his isolation and potentially harmful behavior. Yeah…not so intriguing of a plot line.
I definitely would have preferred it to have mirrored the trailer. The idea that all these constructs came together after individually being called out by this man, and each have their turn with Howard to essentially bring him back to life, is perfect. But at the same time, I have to hand it to the marketing team on this one. They did not betray the image they were selling at all. There is not even one image (okay, there may be a tiny one) of Howard’s friends and the actors interacting with each other in either of the trailers. Nowadays everything ends up in the trailers, spoiling the movie before it even has a chance, but they did good here.
Now, a lot of people are getting confused with the tail end. [No Spoilers!!!] At the very end of the film Howard is walking through the park, and we see the actors standing on a bridge; Howard looks up, and they’re gone. This makes it seem like Brigitte, Raffi, and Amy really are Death, Time, and Love. But I don’t believe this to be the case. I think this is Howard starting to heal. He really thinks that he has spoken to the constructs of Death, Time, and Love, even though he knows they were hallucinations brought on by the loss of his daughter. To him, they are very real, and now that their message has been delivered, they’re going to go back to being constructs. I still can’t explain the hospital scene, but other than that, I’m convinced in my theory.
It’s a great movie, and the reveal will make you cry. It may not have been as deep or creative as I would have liked it to have been, but it was still definitely worth it. If you get the chance, go check it out.