No – Not the Star Sign
[ WARNING: The review you are about to witness contains font styles that are not recommended for infants less than 12 months old. If it is inconvenient, damages your retinal curvature or hurts your eyes in any way – KINDLY refrain from reading any further. That being said, Einstein proposed Gravitational waves 100 years ago. They’ve just been discovered. His genius, like mine, will be recognisable a hundred years from now. And yes, as always, I’m aware of my insufferable arrogance. ]
If you thought this was about star signs you’re a bit off the mark. I’m Sarcofagus (the monk who kept the Ferrari), not Neil The Grass Tyson, and this is a review that’s got nothing to do with Interstellar star stuff.
I slept off the first three times I tried to watch the movie. Does that mean I’m a terrible movie watcher? Hell No – it means I made the mistake of watching it when I was a kid – and there was no Mickey Mouse in it – so I got bored. Those were the days I still wore pyjamas to bed. So I concluded, in pure condescending fashion that – perhaps the world is full of dumbasses – so I was going to prove them wrong, and give this movie a shot. And guess what happened? My Grandmother fell sick. Unrelated, I know – but still… it could be. And therein lies the brilliance of Zodiac.
In its compulsive and unimaginable could be’s.
Everything about the movie defines the word Grim. Not like “I’ve-been-forced-to-watch-Dhoom-3” kinda grim, but rather like the ‘Yay it’s gloomy and raining, and I’m forced to sit behind a desk in my crap office instead’ kinda grim.
So Zodiac. Starts with a typical scenario– there are murders blah blah. There are more murders, so another blah blah. People do the complex math and conclude – murder + murder equals SERIAL MURDERER! (Surprise surprise!!!)… So WHAM, next thing you know there are Detectives trying to solve the case. (Unrelated again – but anyone seen True Detective? If you haven’t, walk carefully- the important word being CAREFULLY- over to the nearest lethal object ranging from a hot iron to a Live electrical socket, and kill yourself. Period.)
So this far I’m like – Hmmm, average plot – rather boring. And the popcorn is saltier than usual. Until I realised 2 important things.
David Fincher and True Story.
Yeah – David Freaking Fincher and True Freaking Story!
You don’t know David Fincher?!!! Remember the lethal object I spoke about…yeah – the one where you should have killed yourself?
Point is – when a murder mystery is a true story, and is accurate to the point of disbelief, the movie really starts to grab at individual strands of hair on your skin. Or poke you from beneath (some call it Goosebumps, others call it “The-creepy-beetles-under-the-skin-from-The-Mummy thingy”). Suddenly it’s not boring anymore when you’re reading up on the stuff that was actually true.
There are gunshots (of the subtle and silenced variety), classic American cars (I’m a car loving monk, – and the beautiful car the Zodiac drives was said to be similar to a Chevrolet Corvair 1963), guys in waistcoats (it was errr… sort of the fashion during those years…) and a protagonist that’s almost as creepy as the unknown killer. What more could you want?!
Oh. I almost forgot. Did I mention Jake Gyllenhaal (of severely underrated ‘Prisoners’ and ‘Nightcrawler’ fame) or Mark Ruffalo (whose secret is that “he’s always angry” and turns into a BIG greenish thing at random) … or maybe I mentioned Robert Downey Jr. (the billionaire Stark dude with the glowing hole in his chest and a 20th century armoured suit) or John Terry? Yeah the Chelsea footballer John Terry!!! – or wait… I just checked… the movie has another John Terry. I don’t really know who he is – but you get the point.
So – you have creepy dude, green dude and dude with the hole in his chest in one movie! Another reason to watch the movie if you’re not excited yet.
The conversations are quick – almost Italian mob movie kinda quick. The editing is brilliant – equalling Breaking-Bad-esque (it’s a new word, grammar Nazis) levels of perfection. The humour is subtle, and is perhaps the only thing that will keep you from biting your nails during the movie. (Speaking of which, do people really chew on their nails when they’re scared or is it made up crap like the ostrich head burial myth???)
Anyways, watch the movie – like NOW. I got the Director’s Cut – and it tops at around 2 hours 40 minutes – and you’ll breeze through it without a care for the world (I don’t really care for the world anyways, so I enjoyed it way more than you mortals would). It is bucket list worthy awesome and will leave you depressed, curious and in extreme admiration of the effort taken to keep the plot true to the facts, especially if you do the customary ‘Wikipedia session after the movie’ thing. And when you’re finally aware of stuff like the fact that ‘Jake Gyllenhaal actually filmed the real guy he was playing to emulate him for his role’ and that the Director, the producers (and other people) collectively spent ‘Over 18 months researching the movie before a script was prepared’, you’ll walk away shaking your head in awe inspiring incredulous disbelief.
And I will be nodding my head beside you, agreeing from beneath my stony grave – united in our pursuit of the one thing that every movie watcher aims for. A STORY THAT IS GRIPPING TO THE LAST MINUTE.
I guarantee it. Take it from a dead guy who’s lived many lives. This is one movie you cannot miss.