Welcome Scribbler fans! Old Man Feind found some more Indie gold to share with you because I’m good like that. This one comes from a familiar name and one of this Scribblers favorites. It’s from Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam! As his films tend to be it is both weird as fuck and awesome! Come dip your toes in the COOL Indie waters with…
Wow, what a fucked up film but alas it is a Terry Gilliam film so WTF do you expect? I’ll keep this as brief and spoiler free as I can though I think in this one I could spoil the entire film and it wouldn’t really matter. Terry Gilliam has a knack for telling extremely odd stories that generally deal with time in some form or another and Zero Theorem is no exception. First you should know this Scribbler is a big Monty Python fan so I’ve been watching Gilliam my whole life though a couple of his films are too strange even for me. However if you have never seen Time Bandits, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (film debut of one Uma Thurman btw who this Scribbler had a major crush on at one time) or 12 Monkeys you’re missing some real awesome films. Second this film has to do with math & physics which I’m a total geek for though honestly as soon as I saw Gilliam’s name I was going to give it a try no matter what it was about. So what the hell is Zero Theorem about?
For most movies that is a fairly simple question to answer but nothing is simple about a Gilliam film and there is really nothing simple about Zero Theorem. I was probably half way through this flick before I could even make an attempt at answering the “what is it about” question and honestly was still a little bit at a loss. Zero Theorem is set in some odd alternative future that if you try to understand you may just go insane as Gilliam always seems to be so adept at doing. So I’ll try a bit here but forgive me if it doesn’t sound that appealing because I can’t really do it justice. So here we go...
The awesome Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds) carries Zero Theorem and I think he is one of the few who could, possibly John Malkevich would have been a good fit as well. So Waltz plays a computer hacker of sorts working to try and solve the Zero Theorem but repeated failures at doing so are driving him insane though admittedly he’s a little odd to begin with. In hopes of relieving some of his stress so he can focus “the company” sends a prostitute (Melanie Thierry) his way but he falls in love with her and she with him. So WTF is Zero Theorem? That one is a bit of an easier answer. Zero Theorem is the mathematical search for the very beginning, the moment just before the “Big Bang” when there was nothing. Waltz starts just frantically searching for the solution but with the aid of a child genius (Lucas Hedges), he begins to understand the purpose of why he has been tasked with searching for it and why perhaps he should stop though he is completely obsessed making that an impossibility.
That may all sound a little boring but Zero Theorem is far from it. It has Gilliam’s visual flair everywhere which is so strong at times it almost outshines what is otherwise a very good story. It is an odd, weird but fun ride whether you get some of the higher thinking themes or not. Zero Theorem is a bit of an Orwellian tale told in a way only Gilliam can. This again is a small Indie film so you may find it difficult to find but if you can find it you definitely should give it a try if for nothing else than to see something different and intelligent instead of the big budget idiocy that is all too popular. You also get a lot of familiar faces including Matt Damon in a small bit part as “Management”.
I could wax philosophical at the social commentary both subtle and not so subtle in Zero Theorem but I find when people do that they are just trying to prove to you that they are smarter than you are. I hope instead that you are smarter than me and will get all the subtle nuances contained in this wonderful Gilliam ride because honestly you’d probably have to watch this a few times to catch them all. Maybe one day we can grab some coffee and talk about it. That would be pretty cool in this Scribblers book.
Anyway as you can tell Old Man Feind was more than satisfied with yet another in this streak of Indie gold I have going so in case you didn’t skip ahead for the verdict, Zero Theorem is most definitely…
The Zero Theorem is still making the film festival circuit right now and hasn't seen wide distribution to my knowledge so unfortunately I can't bring you the full film. Instead hear what it's Evil Mastermind Terry Gilliam had to say about it...
And just because I love Monty Python...
So do you like weird ass shit like Feind? If so leave a comment or just let me know you think my taste sucks... you're wrong but whatever!
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