The zero theorem

In his new film The zero theorem, Terry Gilliam shows a futuristic world that is just close enough to our present world to be freaky. The main character is mathematician Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz), who lives in London in the ruins of a catholic church, among broken, dirty statues, and rats. Qohen only goes out occasionally. In the streets there are ads covering every space of every wall of every buildings. Some ads pursue people as they walk on the sidewalk, talking to them, trying to get their attention. (somewhere among the tagline I saw “Corporations without borders” Wow!). Qohen is hired by a company called Mancom to solve the zero theorem. He works from home on his computer, and it looks like a very complex, impossible to do electronic game. Qohen is constantly on edge and unhappy. He is awaiting the phone call he thinks might bring him happiness. He is also eager to meet Management (intriguing Matt Damon). At a party held by his supervisor, Joby (David Thewlis), he meets Management, but also a girl named Bainsley (Mélanie Thierry). The second part of the film takes place at Qohen’s home, where he gets therapy sessions from the virtual Dr Shrink-Rom (Tilda Swinton). Bainsley comes to visit him and he starts trusting her. Together they go to a virtual beach and there he seems happy. Qohen strikes a friendship with Bob (Lucas Hedges), the teenage son of Management who comes to repair his computer. It could have been a mess, but Christoph Waltz’s Qohen is ultimately very touching and compelling. The scenes with Thierry and Hedges are intimate and help to give the film some much-needed heart and hope. And just like Qohen, we need some hope.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

 

 The zero theorem

 

Directed by: 
Terry Gilliam
 
Screenplay by: 
Pat Rushin
 
Starring: 
Christoph Waltz
Mélanie Thierry
David Thewlis
Lucas Hedges
Matt Damon
Ben Whishaw
Tilda Swinton
 
107 min.
 
Rated 14A
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