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Archive for the ‘Zodiac’ Category

Zodiac – review – Film Comment #12

Film Comment – #12 – Zodiac – David Fincher – 2007


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“Zodiac” is probably the best and most original serial killer thriller since “Silence of the Lambs”, and David Fincher is one of the finest directors of the past 20 years. It was my #6 pick of 2007, and my #44 pick in my best films of the past decade. The film is a study of the unsolved serial killings in the San Francisco area in the late 60’s. Zodiac terrorized the bay area, sending letters to the local papers describing his murders and warning them of what was to come. To this day the case still remains open.

Fincher tells a fantastic tale, mostly through the eyes of Robert Graysmith, played by Jake Gylenhaal, who wrote the book the film was based on. The set pieces and attention to detail depicting the times is first rate. The music also plays a big part in the film. Instead of using ominous cues and tense scoring, Fincher uses pop hits from the era to move the picture along, making for some interesting, slightly off-beat murder scenes.

The leads and information slowly come into focus, and it seems everyone has their take on who the Zodiac could be. Graysmith and reporter Paul Avery, played by Robert Downey Jr. in what should have been an Oscar winning role, lead the charge as freelance detectives intent on beating the police in discovering the true identity of the killer. Their personal and professional lives suffer as their obsession continues to grow, and the clues continue to fall in to place.

Fincher’s unique style of story-telling and visual prowess makes for one hell of a grade A thriller.

Grade: A-