Saturday, February 9, 2019
The Zero Theorem 2013 directed by Terry Gilliam
Cohen, a man working for "mamagement" in a distopian future who always refers to himself in the plural is requesting a disability status so he can work from home. The reason for this is he thinks he will recieve a telephone call that will tell hime what his meaning in life is.
He does eventaully get to work from home where he is joined by another programmer, Bob, who is ill and his somewhat of a love interest, Bainsley who he shares a VR fantasy with.
In the end Cohen discovers that "Management" wants to prove there is no meaning of life. Choen destroys the machine and jumps inot the black hole within it, ending up back in the VR simulation, seemingly content despite management's biting statement that he has basicalling destroyed any meaning life did have for him by waiting for a phone call to tell him wha tthey meaning may have been.
Terry Gilliam is a brilliant dirextor. It's hard to deny that wiht his incredible body of work and he often returns to the same well for inspriation and ideas. This film, however, it pretty terrible. Despite some great actors, set peices and wonder Gilliam imagery, the movie comes off as a cheap copy of a Gilliam fim done by a much lesser filmmaker. The lead is good enough but the overall lavk of sympathy generated for him, or anyone else drags the story down. In Brazil the protagonist is relateable and we care what happens to him. The world is a knockoff of the world of Brazil or maybe 12 Monkeys and never quite seems liek a real or interesting place. I do like that we see it in braod daylight so it doesn't fall into the distopian trope of "always raining and night".
Overall, a disspointing entry into the director's mostly great catalog of work.