When I first saw today’s featured movie directed by David Fincher, I wasn’t that impressed with it, but on subsequent viewings I admired it a heck of a lot more. It doesn’t reach the jaw-dropping stature of Fincher’s own Se7en, but it is an intriguing character study woven inside a mystery thriller film. In a 2016 critics’ poll conducted by the BBC, Zodiac was voted the 12th greatest film of the 21st century. I would describe this film akin to All the Presidents Men but transfigured into the crime genre.
A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970’s case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith’s book, the movie’s focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people.
Interestingly, the Zodiac case was reopened after the screening of this movie. Such was the attention to detail; the murder victims’ costumes were meticulously recreated from forensic evidence that was lent to the production. Because Fincher wanted the film to be as accurate as possible, he decided not to depict any of the alleged Zodiac murders for which there were no surviving victims or witnesses. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal shares one of the film’s creepiest scenes with Charles Fleischer. In real life, the two have known each other since Gyllenhaal was three years old.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 90% based on 261 reviews, with an average rating of 7.70/10. The site’s critical consensus reads: “A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the 70s than he does on gory details of murder.“
1. Zodiac (Film) – Wikipedia
2. Zodiac – IMDB
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