We at ReelGood are above all, lovers of cinema. And maybe awesome people second. We’ve been releasing these articles called ‘Overrated’ recently, and would like to balance out the hate with a bit of love. Here’s UNDERRATED, and we’re more than happy to suggest some films you should go and check out right now.
Director: David Fincher (Alien3, Seven, The Game, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chloe Sevigny, Brian Cox
Synopsis: Three men become obsessed with the identity of the Zodiac Killer, who terrorised San Franciso in the late 60s/early 70s
Considering how much love there is for David Fincher out there, it’s beyond me why Zodiac doesn’t get more of a look in. Ever started a project and became so involved that you lose sight of why you began it in the first place?
Zodiac is a serial killer film with a fairly indifferent attitude towards the killer. Fincher also made the grisly serial killer noir Seven, which took a more traditional approach towards the genre. In that film, the protagonists needed to catch John Doe to put an end to his crimes. The crimes of the Zodiac Killer in Zodiac are footnotes, depicted to give the action context. The protagonists in Zodiac need to catch the killer to satisfy their own obsession. It’s their gratification we’re interested in, not criminal justice. It’s a movie about research.
There’s an incredible sense of the factual in Zodiac. I’ve heard that nearly all the events in the film are pretty spot on in regards to their real life counterparts. It’s the main reason Zodiac is so compelling. The information Fincher offers doesn’t sensationalise the already sensational story. He’s aware that fact is nearly always more compelling than fiction. This is something other films based on real events should pay attention to.
Zodiac is David Fincher’s finest film and I’d be damn surprised if that ever changed. A great film lets us empathise with the obsessions of its characters. A masterpiece forces us to share those obsessions. Even Robert Downey Jr. isn’t too annoying.