The Art of Advertising: The Sea Inside

On the left you see the original poster for the Spanish film Mar Adentro (2004, dir. Alejandro Amenábar), known in English as The Sea Inside. There the star, Javier Bardem, is shown with the age makeup he wears throughout the film.

On the right you see the American poster for The Sea Inside, depicting Bardem’s character as a young (and, arguably, handsome) man. The poster was undoubtedly designed that way in order to sell more tickets. It has certain artistic qualities that I like, especially in the water’s beautiful shades of blue, but I feel it is an inaccurate representation of the film. It is false advertising since Bardem is only seen young during one particular flashback (albeit a flashback that is revisited a number of times) and in photographs in his character’s house.

One poster is more truthful and the other is perhaps easier on the eyes. Is one poster “better” than the other or is that a silly argument?

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