(This is Zodiac film review, which is a mystery thriller film that is based on a real unsolved murder in the United States)
There’s always been a few rare murder cases where the murderer was never caught. Zodiac was one of these cases that, till now, had never had its perpetrator caught, and this film used that as its premise.
It is directed by the director of The Social Network, David Fincher, and starred plenty of famous names such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr., with Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, John Carroll Lynch, Candy Clark, Dermot Mulroney, and Chloë Sevigny, Without further ado, let’s jump into the Zodiac film review below!
The Zodiac murder spree case had never been solved till today. This film looked into the beginning right to the end of a possible prime suspect and how the ones involved managed to lead the case to him. Could the truth ever be revealed to the world, even if just a little?
Zodiac Film Review
The story was mostly based on the 1986 book of the same name by Robert Graysmith. As it was based on a true story, the premise itself could be said to be more akin to detective work story rather than a true fiction. If you have known about the case, then not many of the events will surprise you. However, the film did manage to create an engaging experience for those that did not know about it at all.
What I liked is they show how each murder happened, and each was shown without much dramatisation except over some strong music soundtrack. The film tried to create an art out of this non-fictional story, and it worked pretty well so far. It managed to capture your attention by introducing characters slowly as well as following different characters’ perspectives. The way it alternated between murder scenes and detective work scenes helped to break the flow once in a while to give you some breather, as the mood was quite intense and could cause anxiety to build.
Overall, it seemed that the film followed the book pretty well, and even with the belief that the true identity of the Zodiac killer might be the one and only prime suspect after all. It did not try to be impartial on it, which could be a polarising factor for certain audience.
The film did manage to create an engaging experience for those that did not know about it at all
Pacing is pretty well maintained, but due to the long length of the film, the middle portion could feel like a drag as they focused much more on the detective work rather than the emotional scenes. You could actually feel the length of time passed, as anxiety keeps building up, but thankfully the later portion of the film has a much faster and better flow to keep you glued to the screen.
Characters are the meat here and I must praise the performances of Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo. Their characters are acted very well and you can see the sense of helplessness, but even more than this is their tenacity to find the culprit. I don’t know how to describe it well, but both of them are able to act out a sense of calm desperation bordering on madness. It made their characters much more interesting than just normal detective and cartoonist who happened to work on the same case.
We are also shown other characters and all of their strengths and defects. None of the characters are perfect and each experience hardship along the way. It showed us the real life version of what happened in the real world back then. The sacrifices that they had to make in order to track down the murderer who, till now, was never caught. It was this desperation that drove them to publish the book in the end, but it also signified some form of helplessness when they realised they could never catch him even after all these hard work.
It also signified some form of helplessness when they realised they could never catch him even after all these hard work
Other characters are acted out pretty good too, especially the antagonist, which though hardly had any screentime, still gave a general impression of a sly and calm murderer who killed people for weird reasons. All in all, the characters in this film felt alive and as if they were all reenacting the same scenes that happened way back then.
Soundtrack has pretty cool music played through some murder scenes and others for some artistic and impactful moments. But it’s the quiet scenes when the characters are talking that we are shown the impactful ones.