A political cartoonist, a crime reporter and a pair of cops investigate San Francisco’s infamous Zodiac Killer in this thriller based on a true story.
Runtime: 2hr 37m
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, John Carroll Lynch, Dermot Mulroney, Chloë Sevigny
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/70044686
As an avid watcher of serial killer documentaries as well as subscribing to all the serial killer podcasts Zodiac has been on my to watch list for a while. However, I have been cautious about watching it as I was unsure as to whether or not it would do the infamous case justice. But I needn’t have worried as it took no more than the film’s chilling opening scene to cast my fears aside and glue me to the seat for 158 minutes. My familiarity with the source material actually heightened my enjoyment because I was surprised at how accurately the film depicted the events. I recognised names and details that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
We’re introduced to a number of suspects, and since this is, in part, one man’s interpretation of circumstantial evidence. This is due to the fact that it is not based solely on the case itself, but also on the cartoonist Robert Graysmith. Who was conducting research for his book and had an undying need for the case to be solved. We also see how the police seem to be lost in an avalanche of suspects and protocol in an age before computers or fax machines. This allows us to assume that any of the suspects could be the mysterious killer. It’s a plot device that effectively keeps the viewer in a constant state of unease.
Jake Gyllenhaal is the perfect actor to portray Robert Graysmith, you can really feel at the start of the film that he wants to be accepted as part of the newspapers team and not just be “only the cartoonist”. As the film progresses you see how he is getting sucked deeper into the investigation into the Zodiac to the point that it starts to affect his day to day life. Jake Gyllenhaal does a fantastic job of showing Roberts changing mood through his body language and facial expressions. Mark Ruffalo‘s performance as Inspector David Toschi really brings to life the internal struggle he faced while trying to solve the case. Whilst Robert Downey Jr.‘s portrayal of Paul Avery adds a bit of comedic relief in an otherwise serious drama. Director David Fincher really kept things authentic in fact he had trees helicoptered in to the Lake Berryessa location, as the area had changed substantially since 1969, and he wanted it to resemble the murder site as closely as possible. He also had exact copies of Paul Avery’s badge made and mentioned the cocktail which really was Robert Graysmith’s favourite drink.
Zodiac is a fantastic film, with a brilliant cast but it is not a fast paced film, often there is seemingly not much taking place. However, this is not a bad thing because in all the small scenes are setting up the rest of the film. You do really need to concentrate on this film as well as there are a lot of time jumps and a lot of information is written on screen to set the time and location of events. If it’s an action filled gorfest you’re looking for this is not the film for you, but if it’s a crime thriller with lots of twists and turns that you’re wanting to watch then you really should give zodiac a try.
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