London Film Festival 2013 Diary: Day 7

The Zero Theorem:

Film 3A 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 not awful but still enjoyable enough with a great cast of cameos to spot.

★★★☆☆

 

The Double:

Film 2A 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 though, is a whole other beast entirely. Nothing like his debut, unless you count the endless cameo’s. 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. And with Mia Wasikowska playing the love interest, though with a wandering British/Australian/American accent. 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. But for me, I found the whole thing boring, dull and frustrating. And the film features 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 a major let down and disappointing. Can’t see myself re-watching this for a good while.

★★☆☆☆

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