The Zero Theorem

"Good"

The Zero Theorem Review


Lively and imaginative, this raucous adventure-drama recaptures the ramshackle futurism of director Terry Gilliam's 1985 masterpiece Brazil, throwing a lonely guy into a series of events that get increasingly surreal. And while we never lose interest, the plot seems to fall apart about halfway in, circling around itself and the pungent themes that ooze through every scene.

The central figure is Qohen (Waltz), a genius who feels like life has lost its meaning. He hates the corporate mentality at Mancom, where both his manager (Thewlis) and the computer system drive him nuts. Then after a chance encounter with the big boss (Damon), he's given a new assignment to work at home crunching numbers to prove the Zero Theorem. Everyone is vague about what this theorem is, but Qohen likes being away from the office. But now he's distracted by the seductive Bainsley (Thierry), who puts on a sexy nurse outfit and lures him into a virtual reality environment. He's also assigned 15-year-old computer nerd Bob (Hedges) to keep his system up and running. Or maybe everyone is spying on him.

The central theme is the search for meaning in life, which is echoed in Qohen's inability to feel, taste or properly experience anything. And the theorem itself turns out to be an attempt to prove conclusively that everything is meaningless. This allows Gilliam to deploy his vast imagination in every scene, with a flood of corporate and religious imagery, suggestive innuendo and topical gags about free will in a society that values making money at the expense of actually living. All of the actors grab on to these ideas, adding comical physicality and knowing humour to each scene. 

Waltz is terrific at making the gloomy Qohen sympathetic and intriguing, while Thierry, Damon and Thewlis add layers of comical interest. As always, Swinton steals the show (as Qohen's online therapist). Meanwhile, Gilliam's cluttered, colourful design work sends our eyes darting all over each amazing set. So it's very frustrating when the story judders to a stop, then begins to feel repetitive. The ideas that spiral around are sometimes thrillingly astute, while the themes may resonate with us, provoking us to think about our own lives. But it's hard to care about what happens on-screen.

Watch 'The Zero Theorem' Trailer And Feaurette



The Zero Theorem

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 19th August 2014

Box Office USA: $0.3M

Distributed by: Amplify Releasing

Production compaines: Picture Perfect Corporation, Voltage Pictures, Zanuck Independent, Zephyr Films, MediaPro Pictures, Le Pacte, Wild Side Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 55 Rotten: 50

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Nicolas Chartier,

Starring: as Qohen Leth, as Joby, as Bainsley, Lucas Hedges as Bob, as Management, as Doctor 3, as Dr. Shrink-Rom, as Doctor 1, as Mancom Computerised Lips, as TV Presenter, as Doctor 2

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.