Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Zero Theorem – 2014


From “The Holy Grail” to “Brazil”, to “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”, the works of Terry Gilliam can all be described simply as, weird. Gilliam’s latest, starring Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, David Thewlis and the incredible Christoph Waltz has once again emerged as yet another typical Gilliam whacky-fest that is mind-boggling, surreal and fantastically perplexing.

“The Zero Theorem”, winner of the ‘Future Film Festival Digital Award’ at the Venice Film Festival is a futuristic, otherworldly and dream-like tale that is disturbing, humorous and blatantly peculiar.
Keeping up with the crazy directorial style of Gilliam, his latest piece tells the tale of Qohen Leth (a very bald Christoph Waltz), a computer hacker that attempts to find out the true meaning of existence.
His quest of discovery is continuously halted, interrupted and distracted by the dystopian-like governing body, “Management” (Matt Damon).
The watchful and omniscient presence that is Management, provides a watchful eye over the computerised, futuristic world and creates a sense of insecurity regarding whether or not this future is desirable. As well as appearing weird, a reoccurring element within Gilliam’s films is the heightened sense of insecurity.
The style that Gilliam utilises is incredibly clever as the effect that is achieved is very difficult to convincingly execute.

Showing immense potential but sadly scoring a disappointing 6.5/10 on iMDB, “The Zero Theorem” was once again able to generate a sense of the unknown, and that’s before the film even began. Paying homage to films such his previous “Brazil”, Kubrick’s “A Space Odyssey” and even “The Mighty Boosh” at times (most likely not directly), the film is unwaveringly unconventional and scattered.

zipt30As a result, “The Zero Theorem” is highly confusing and slightly alienating. The excessive computer jargon, like memory, fibre-optics and mainframes may appeal to some audiences, yet the intellectually surrealist nature of films like this is usually designed to confuse, distance and baffle it’s viewers deliberately.

Strange, mystifying and undecipherable, “The Zero Theorem” is yet another Terry Gilliam piece that solidifies him as a modern day surrealist visionary. As complex as the film is, it tends to drag on and not become anything spectacular. Enjoyable for the first half at most, “The Zero Theorem” is predominantly a bit too zany.
Gilliam’s best film (apart from his Monty Python works) is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, and it seems as though it will remain that way for the remainder of his career.



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