September 28, 2014
The Zero Theorem centers on Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz), a quirky workaday fellow who works as a number cruncher for some faceless corporation. The corporation applauds the individual, while always keeping an eye on them with obvious big brother cameras focusing on them. Qohen is convinced he is dying and wishes to get approval to work from home to cut down on expense, travel, and down time. After being jerked around by the powers that be, he gets the go ahead. Still firmly believing he is dying, gets his cavernous home set up so that he can continue crunching the numbers while waiting for his call.
Along with the OK to work from home, he is assigned to work on the titular Zero Theorem, also referred to as Zip-T. What is it exactly? Well, it is a theorem whose goal is to prove existence is meaningless. It is an interesting thing to ponder, much less be forced to try and prove. While he is working the numbers, he is visited by Bainsley, a sexy pseudo-prostitute with whom Qohen develops affection for. There is also the bosses kid, who goes by and calls everyone else Bob.
It is a rather fascinating movie to watch play out. Even while I did not feel completely involved and kept at a distance, the movie held my attention at all turns. It was interesting to watch Waltz play this quirky, introverted, odd ball of character and how he slowly changes with exposure to both Bainsley (Melanie Thierry) and Bob. They sort of wake him up from the worker bee type existence. Pair that with Terry Gilliam's gift for visuals and you have a movie that gives you a lot to work with.
The Zero Theorem is a movie I suspect will grow and reveal more with repeat viewings, but as it stands, would seem to be an interesting companion piece to Brazil. I feel as if both could be a part of the same universe, just looked at from different perspectives based on the thoughts and feelings of the central character. Gilliam has this way of visualizing space and technology and how they interact, distract, control, entertain, and interfere with our lives that is pretty fascinating. Watch how he combines the tech with basic issues of human interaction.
Posted by Christopher Beaumont at 9/28/2014 09:44:00 PM
Labels: 2010s, 2014, Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis, Matt Damon, Melanie Thierry, Movie Review, Science Fiction, Terry Gilliam, Theatrical Release, Tilda Swinton
Chris has been an avid movie watcher for decades, getting into the writing game in 2004. Since that time he has contributed to a number online publications as well as running CriticalOutcast.com. In addition to movies, Chris is a big fan of music, particularly metal, and will never give up hope on his beloved Mets.