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The Zero Theorem sort of review thingy

I don't watch many films at the cinema, but I had a free afternoon due to work related stuff and it was the only thing on that I fancied seeing. It was the first showing at the one cinema in town showing it and I was the only one there, normal people were either still at work or were already drunk (its that kind of town), so I was the first in town to watch it, I might still have that accolade by the end of its run, this is never going to pack them in.

Right, that's the preamble out of the way, I can dig right into spoilers now. Except I won't. Maybe I should talk about the actual film, though rather than waffling on.


Is this film Brazil pt2? Well, yes, mostly, if you hated Brazil, you probably won't like this, but then you probably didn't like most of Terry Gilliam's output. It follows the same sort of track of someone stuck doing something they hate, surrounded by people they don't like and wanting to escape. The world makes little overall sense, but that is what the film is about; living in a world you don't understand where nothing understands you (does that sound familiar?).

Visually the film is sumptuous. The world is a crumbling, degenerating, messy place, painted over in bright colours and shining lights, and so are the characters. Everything and everyone is quite mad when you stop to pay attention.

It is a satire from the ground up. There are some lovely visual gags (the statue of Christ with its head replace by a security camera was worthy of Banksy), attention seems to have been paid everywhere on the sets. This is normal life, but viewed through a skewed and cynical lens, and then painted in crayon.


I, myself, am very much into this sort of weirdness, it could have been written for my consumption (indeed, screen 2 at the Odeon was mine and mine alone). It does not reveal any great truths, just a harmless bit of nihilism, does not ask any new questions, but paints them in a hundred odd minutes of glorious difference. The characters are all quirky grotesques, and so, really, is the film.

Should you go and see it? Well, if you loved Brazil, then yes. If you have just had the oddest week at work and now you are thinking in inside-out tetrahedrons, then probably. If you want to walk out of the cinema thinking "I'm not quite sure what I just watched, but it was quite funny", then go on, knock yourself out. Its not ground-breaking, not overly intelligent, but it is a slice of something different.


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