Movie Review: The Zero Theorem

Avatar meets Inception
ByJack Hardwick Monday , 29 September 2014
Movie Review: The Zero Theorem
© Voltage Pictures
The Zero Theorem

The Zero Theorem tells the tale of computer genius Qohen Leth as he undertakes the task of solving the mathematical problem that is the zero theorem. As he gets deeper and deeper into the issue, Qohen begins to lose track of his goal, fearing his mind is playing tricks on him and bringing his mental stability into question.

Christoph Waltz stars in the lead of this sci-fi thriller, taking on the role of nervous computer nerd Qohen, whose life ambition is to find out the meaning of human existence.
Directed by Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, this futuristic film at times almost feels like an homage to his 1985 hit Brazil, a move which could be the films downfall.

The Eighties classic, which followed a man in a dystopian future who becomes an enemy of the state after making a clerical error, was inspired, colorful and frankly absurd for its time, however, by repeating the move in 2014, Terry has risked appearing stale and dated.

Where the film succeeds however, is with the injection of Monty Python's inspired wit, a mix of visual and underhand comments twisted into the complex plotline.
As with many of Terry's projects, The Zero Theorem's production and backdrop provide a entertaining and enjoyable viewing experience, even though the script, which lacks direction, lets the overall concept down.

That said, Oscar winner Christoph Waltz's performance is a standout feature of the film, taking a stark departure from roles we have come to expect to see him in. He fully embodies what the film is aiming to express to the viewer, a warning of the negative path our future is taking, driven by commercialism and greed in an ever more technology-dependent society.
Set in what could be a Tim Burton scenario, The Zero Theorem isn't short of quirky and eccentric moments, and from the script to the costume designs, nothing in this film is quite 'normal'.
While The Zero Theorem won't appeal to the masses, it will most likely be a success within its own niche of Gilliam fans who are ever-hungry for more from the eccentric director.

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