The 57th BFI London Film Festival is currently underway in London, and Luke Grima from Wanna go to the Movies? has kindly agreed to share his thoughts on the films he has had the opportunity to see. After the jump check out Luke’s thoughts on The Zero Theorem and The Double.
The Zero Theorem
A computer hacker’s goal, Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) has to discover the reason for human existence but continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management. This time they send a teenager, Bob (Lucas Hedges) and lusty love interest Bainsley (Mélanie Thierry) to distract him.
The Zero Theorem see’s Terry Gilliam return since his 2009 film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The film is set again in a strange, modern dystopian version of England with typical Gilliam touches. Very much looking like the same universe as Brazil.
Like with all Terry Gilliam films, he’s imaginative ideas vibrantly come to life. Unique outfits, set designs and quirky characters. Including Waltz’s Qohen Leth who always talks in the first person plural of ‘we’. In fact, all the characters are crazy but endearing and perform Gilliam’s batty ideas extremely well. David Thewlis is great as the supervisor, Lucas Hedges as “management’s” son, but Mélanie Thierry stands out. I thought she was terrific, the way she interacts with Waltz and her mannerisms was a pleasure.
In terms of his career, this is a minor Gilliam in terms of story. It never quite comes together, however for a unique vision it’s up there with Brazil. It’s enjoyable enough, with a great cast of cameos to spot.
A comedy centered on a man, Simon / James (Jesse Eisenberg) who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppelgänger. The film is based on the novel of the same name from Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Richard Ayoade returns with his second film after the critically successful Submarine. The Double, is a whole other beast entirely. Nothing like his début, unless you count the endless cameos. The film is also dubbed as a comedy, which again I am at lost with.
Jesse Eisenberg stars as Simon James and James Simon, he plays two slightly different versions of himself. One is cool, confident, approachable and a bit of a womanizer – the other, is just the opposite which is the one we start the film with. Mia Wasikowska plays the love interest, though with a wandering British/Australian/American accent. I’m not sure if that was intentional or not.
The Double is a strange mix of Gilliam’s Brazil, especially at the beginning with some Lynch thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately I found the whole thing boring, dull and frustrating; and the film features [repeated] cameos from Submarine and The IT Crowd, like an unfunny bastard child.
I will praise Richard Ayoade for his filming though, The Double does have some interesting shots and uses of light and he has definitely improved his technical aspect. It’s just a shame the film was so disappointing. I can’t see myself re-watching this for a good while.
By Luke Grima