Not bad by any means, just underwhelming.
Another post-apocalyptic film hits the screens this year, this time Z for Zachariah disaster is unnamed and the film is subdued.
The time frame post this disaster is vague, but what we do know is America is desolate with most of civilization wiped out, or so we assume. A woman, quite possibly the last on earth (played by Margot Robbie), tends to the land in a valley on the side of a mountain when she comes across a scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and a miner (Chris Pine) who look for salvation, hope, a future and love in her.
Once again, in an effort to differentiate itself from previous films of a similar subject matter, Z for Zachariah peers into humanity for a compelling new take on the genre. To be a survivor at the end of the world is a terribly lonely and isolated thing for a person to endure. What happens to the humanity within when there is nothing left, what dark primal beings are lurking under that civilized surface when a glimmer of hope shines through?
I rejoice for the authors of the world, whom we owe much gratitude for still fighting the good fight in creating and imaging original story lines to grace the screen. Originality is all but dead for major motion studios, though indie films still churn out thought provoking and entertaining narratives. Z for Zachariah is an indie film with an A-list cast based off a book. I can only assume the film is very loosely adapted from the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, for it is without rich conflict or complex commentary and devolves into a romantic drama.
The film itself is slow, very much so, which is typical for indies and poignant for the subject matter, for there is no need to rush when you’re at the end of the world. In order for slow to work, there needed to be more brewing beneath the surface for the characters. Ad while the conflict and turmoil was superficially there, it lacked internal ferocity.
The thing Z for Zachariah does have going for itself is the cinematography and styling of the shots. The film is beautiful and cohesive with the rural atmosphere, but more importantly the shots add a second layer of story telling to the film.
All in all I was a little disappointed by the film. Perhaps it is because my expectations grew too high once I heard of the response it received at the independent film festivals, but it just didn’t do it for me.