Made well, a trailer can be an engaging piece of art in its own right, one that makes you feel you know the characters and understand the world, but that you don’t know what’s going to happen next.
I’m so happy that this trailer does exactly that, because it means that even more people will decide to pick up this remarkable book.
The first full trailer for the movie adaption of Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give was dropped, appropriately, during the BET awards Sunday night. At just two and a half minutes long, it’s only a taste, but enough to know that director George Tillman and screenwriter Audrey Wells know exactly the story they’re working with.
If you’ve been following all the juicy Hollywood updates, you know that Starr Carter is played by Amandla Stenberg, known to YA fans as The Hunger Games’ Rue and Everything, Everything’s Maddy as well as an increasingly vocal activist in her own right.
Stenberg gets to shine in this trailer, which uses her voiceover narration to bring Starr’s vivid, bifurcated world to life.
We get to meet Starr’s parents:
Starr’s father’s store:
Starr’s private high school, Williamson:
We get a foreboding shot from the police station:
And a cameo by Starr’s sneaker collection:
Most importantly, we get long shots of Starr in the car with Khalil in the minutes before the shooting:
The moments of the shooting are sudden and shocking. Even if you haven’t read the book, the music change and the actors’ expressions as their faces are bathed in blue and red police lights show you exactly what is about to happen.
We even see something we don’t see in detail in the book: Starr’s immediate reaction:
The trailer, to me, perfectly captured the tensions in Starr’s perspective. Accustomed to code-switching between her neighborhood and school, Starr has trained herself to keep her head down. What happens when this need to keep herself safe is confronted with a burning need to speak out?
And man, oh man, can we talk about that shot at the end?
The trailer is, of course, far from light, but the tone builds towards something hopeful and something sang in me when I watched the way they unfurled the title: