Follow by Email

Friday, January 26, 2018

Z for Zachariah

In the wake of Margot Robbie's excellent turn as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, I thought I'd look at her work I hadn't seen (which isn't too much). Z for Zachariah is a 2015 film that hardly had a release (it made only $121,461) though it received good reviews. I thought it was okay, venturing into the well-trod ground of post-apocalyptic stories, but as these things go it was very quiet and meditative.

Robbie plays a young woman who thinks she may be the only person left on Earth. Apparently there was some sort nuclear incident (it is not explained) that has left the world with too much radiation. But her farm is in a valley that has been untouched, so animal and plant life are also abundant.

One day a scientist (Chiwitel Ejiofor) appears, wearing a radiation suit. After surviving radiation sickness, his technical know-how and her knowledge of agriculture has them living as best they can. He has the idea of using a water wheel to generate electricity. Eventually their hormones take over and Robbie tries to seduce him, but he resists, saying it will change their relationship.

Finally a third person enters the picture as Chris Pine as a miner who was underground during the event. Ejiofor becomes very jealous, as Pine is closer to Robbie's age (and is also white, which is not made much of but is the elephant in the movie). The viewer just waits for the shit to hit the fan. But it never really does. The outcome of the rivalry occurs off screen, and we can't be sure what happened, as the person relating the events may be lying.

Z for Zachariah gets you thinking--what if you were the last person on Earth? And then what would happen if someone else shows up? Of course, this leads my reptilian brain to consider that if I were the last man, and Margot Robbie were the last woman, I could go for that.

Directed by Craig Zobel, the film looks great (it was shot in New Zealand) and the acting is pretty good, although Robbie's accent changes over the film. At first I thought she was speaking in her native Australian accent, but then I realized she was going for an American southern accent. She did much better with Harding's voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment