Actors: Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, David Thewlis, Matt Damon, Peter Stormare
Director: Terry Gilliam
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Well Go USA
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Run Time: 107 minutes
It is spectacular to see Terry Gilliam return to the magnificently recognizable style of some of his best work dealing with future dystopia, including
Monkeys. It is just unfortunate that he was not able to imagine any new
ideas or themes to go with these familiar visuals in The Zero Theorem. In the end, this is like the return into the arms
of a past lover; familiar and comforting, though providing no substance or
promise for future satisfaction. It merely feels like leftovers from Gilliam’s
prime, though this is admittedly still better than much of his work in the last
ten years. Brazil
Along with the visual landscape created by production and costume design, not to mention the manner in which Gilliam chooses to photograph it, much of the film hinges on the performance by Christoph Waltz as veteran computer genius Qohen Leth. Living reclusively in a burnt out cathedral, Qohen is tasked with a top-secret government mission to crack the Zero Theorem. Management (Matt Damon) agrees to allow him to work from his home in the church in exchange for his efforts on this existential project.
When the pressures of the project become too much for him to bear, Management sends relief in the form of visitors. He is sent a whirlwind of energy in the form of Bainsley (Mélanie Thierry) to cure his loneliness, and Management even sends his own son (Lucas Hedges) to stimulate Qohen intellectually. All of this is in assistance of the goal to help prove definitively that life has no meaning, which is too much cynicism for even Qohen to comprehend. As a result, much of the film is a man lose grips with his sanity, with a majority of the film’s action taking place in the singular cathedral set. However neatly he is able wrap it up, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of scope in Gilliam’s latest effort in comparison to the films that The Zero Theorem is reminiscent of.
The Blu-ray release includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, as well as one for the film’s visual effects. The extras are sparse, but the high definition presentation of Gilliam’s colorful 35MM spectacle is what makes the Blu-ray purchase worthwhile. The special features also have the film’s trailer.
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10
Historical Significance: 6/10
Special Features: 4.5/10