Finding oneself, revamping your life, and discovering a new direction after a major change is something that happens often both in life and in movies. It’s a kind of universal existential trial that has happened to most people, and it’s also something Tom Hanks’ character experiences in the new trailer for his upcoming comedy-tinged drama A Hologram for the King. Check it out below.
Despite drastically different approaches and worlds, there’s something about the trailer for A Hologram for the King that calls to mind Bill Murray’s recent Rock the Kasbah. Obviously they’re both very, very different, but each narrative takes the idea of a man who has failed at his chosen vocation, and who, with no other options, turns to the Middle East in hopes of salvaging his career. I’m sure there are countless variances, many apparent in this two-and-a-half-minute video, but at least on a surface level they bear some superficial resemblance to one another.
Directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas, The Princess and the Warrior), there’s a very quirky sensibility to be found, especially early on in this trailer. You watch Tom Hanks’ Alan Clay sing Talking Heads’ "Once in a Lifetime" to the camera, breaking the forth wall, and walk through his life as his car, house, and wife literally explode in puffs of purple smoke. That’s not something you see happen everyday. The rest appears to be more grounded in reality and less hallucinatory, though I wouldn’t be shocked if there were similar flourishes sprinkled throughout.
Based on the novel of the same name by Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King follows Alan as he travels to Saudi Arabia in a last-ditch effort to recoup his business losses by selling his idea to the titular wealthy monarch. As you see in this trailer, things do not go quite as he had hoped, and he winds up stalled. As you might expect in this type of movie, however, it certainly looks like he finds far more, and far more about himself, than he ever expected or thought possible. And he also learns that, maybe, if you’re in the Middle East, don’t make a flippant joke about freelancing for the CIA, there are so many ways that can go south in a hurry.
Tom Tykwer, who also adapted Dave Eggers’ novel for the screen, has assembled a strong cast around Tom Hanks, who isn’t a half bad foundation on which to build a movie. Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw shows up in A Hologram for the King, as does the venerable Tom Skeritt, and Homeland’s Sarita Choudhury looks to play a love interest, or at least a romantic complication, for Hanks’ character.
A Hologram for the King hits theaters in just over a month, opening on April 22.