Tuesday, September 1, 2015

[Review] Z for Zachariah

Post-apocalyptic films come in many forms nowadays. There's the insane excursions like this year's Mad Max: Fury Road, intense zombie or disease outbreaks like World War Z, bleakly wrenching dramas like The Road... Then there's arthouse indies like Z for Zachariah--slow and minimal, thriving off of mood and subtle dilemmas. The film contains a buzzing cast: Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, and the highly anticipated Suicide Squad), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Oscar nominee for 12 Years A Slave), and mainstream occupier Chris Pine.

Cities are desolate, but green vegetation and wildlife still fills the horizons. Ann (Robbie) looks like she's been surviving in the woods for a long time as apparently one of the last people on Earth. One day, she befriends a very confused and paranoid man named John (Ejiofor) who stumbles onto her property. She nurses him back to health, and a beyond-platonic relationship forms. It's all pretty dandy for a while (a plodding while) until another dude (Pine) shows up and disrupts the balance.

I'll be straight up--I expected to get bored during this one, and I did get bored for the most part. Even though it's gorgeously shot and there are slight bits of intrigue, the sparse stretches between each significant turning point are just too long. This is the type of glacial tedium that prevents me from ever wanting to watch this twice, and I'm fairly certain a lot of people will feel the same.

Z for Zachariah is a partially decent study of human jealousy amidst the end of days (and also when the stunning Margot Robbie is in the picture), but it all culminates too late, and there's an inertly ambiguous payoff (or lack of a payoff) after the lengthy wait.


1 comment: