12.09.2007

Zodiac


This is such a well-made film in every detail. The cinematography is great, the acting ,even by those who are on screen for only minutes, is pitch-perfect, I loved the period details, and even the small character moments work. Despite the jumping structure, the film never feels episodic, and I was fully engrossed. And I liked the point Fincher made by having three different actors portraying the Zodiac killer: you might think you know something about who did it because you see the murders happening, but really, you can't even tell if it's the same guy.

So, a very well-made film. A great film? For that, I don't know if there's enough under the surface. Sure the film's about obsession, about making the viewer as obsessed as the characters are, but it doesn't really tell you anything about what would make someone more susceptible to obsession than another, about what it's really about.

I wonder what Fincher could do with a costume drama, a romantic comedy, a musical for all I care. It seem he's pretty much mastered this genre, and it would be interesting to see him go outside his comfort zone. It might make him loosen up a little. Benjamin Button is a start, and I'm curious what will come out.

5 comments:

cjKennedy said...

I sensed a great big 'but' coming through your whole opening paragraph. It didn't quite come, though you clearly have reservations.

Besides obsession, I think the film also looks at the creeping rot that began to take hold in the United States by the end of the 1960s. The two kids at the beginning are such innocents, and Donovan is reknowned for his hippy-trippy music, but Hurdy Gurdy Man is a little dark and creepy...after Zodiac I'll never be able to listen to it the same way again.

Anyway, there's this sense of pervading evil and it's interesting the way it impacts the 4 main characters (I'd include Anthony Edwards) but also the community of San Francisco and the country as a whole.

Also, for some reason I loved Mark Ruffalo in this movie. He had the least flashy part (that would go to Robert Downey who was also great), but I felt like he transformed himself into this regular guy. Playing regular guys interestingly is harder I think than playing psychos or charicatures.

His voice and his whole body language was different than anything else I've seen him in.

Full disclosure. I haven't seen this movie since I saw it twice last March or whenever it was that it came out here. I'm holding out for the Director's Cut before I see it again, but I might have to break down and see it again sooner than that.

I think it will be in my 2007 top 10.

Joe Valdez said...

Well put, Hedwig. I was blown away by the design of the film - the effects, the sets, the music, the costumes - but I'm not sure if the story was one I ended up caring all that much about.

I still loved the film and would enjoy seeing Fincher try any other genre, except for comedies about child day care.

Larry Aydlette said...

I've loved "Zodiac" since it came out, but I'm starting to feel the way you did. By the way, I used to be known as The Shamus and since you were kind enough to link to me a few times, I figured i'd let you know my change of (virtual) address.

Hedwig said...

I was already wondering where you got to....but googling "the Shamus" or even "Little Round-Headed Boy" didn't get me anywhere.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note.

As for Zodiac...Thing is, I like it, I really go, but I don't quite love it. It lacks a certain warmth, I suppose. That usually doesn't put me off, but this film felt just a little too precise, at times.

cjKennedy said...

I hear exactly what you're saying and I don't think I can argue with it.

I'm drawn to coldly intellectual films I think.

...which doesn't explain my affection for Stranger than Fiction, but hey, I never said I was consistent!

Maybe I'm attracted to the baldly sentimental because the cold intellect leaves me feeling wanting.