The very next shot gives us our first glimpse of Cavill. The trailer has not yet given his character a name, but for analysis sake, we shan’t be as coy: The floater is Superman, a.k.a. Clark Kent, a.k.a. Kal-El, alien orphan from the doomed planet Krypton. We notice the beard. It’s a mangy thing that hides the Man of Steel’s normally clean, open face and strong jaw line. Shall we make the beard a metaphor for the film’s scruffy aesthetic and fuzzy view of the super-hero archetype? We shall! And so this essay shall make much of beards.
His eyes are closed. It’s a portrait of dormancy, but as we are soon to see, he’s not dead. Not sleeping either. Just meditating. On the soundtrack: The kind of melancholy kid-choir music favored by directors who want to put you in a mournful, contemplative mood.
Next: Growing up scared.