Welcome to The Zero Theorem Fan Site. On this website I will provide some interesting insights and content for what is one of my all time favourite films including my own personal review, a huge image gallery, trailers, behind the scenes documentaries, a fan forum, external resources plus a whole lot more!
The image gallery includes a vast array of images from the film that I have compiled including stills and promotional materials.
Here I will provide my personal insights into Terry Gilliam’s imaginative and skewed world of The Zero Theorem.
As a big fan of Gilliam’s previous work, admittedly my opinion may be slightly biased, however I will try to provide as much of balanced insight as possible.
Released in 2014 by Voltage Pictures, the movie was given a limited release in cinemas across the globe due to it’s comparatively limited budget.
The budget didn’t however stop Gilliam from recruiting one of the hottest properties and most acclaimed actors of his generation in the form of Christoph Waltz.
Waltz puts on a fine performance as the protagonist Qohen Leth, a programmer questioning his very existence in a world plagued by interconnection when all Leth truly desires is solitude.
We follow Leth on his journey of self discovery in an effort to find his place in the world, however if there is one criticism of this movie it would be that it asks an unanswerable question.
Without giving too much away the conclusion doesn’t quite live up to the build up, but personally I enjoyed the ride and would put this movie up there with the very best in it’s genre.
Story & Protagonist – Spoiler Free
Gilliam is the quintessential definition of an autor director; when you watch one of his movies you really are entering “Gilliam land”, and unsurprisingly The Zero Theorem is no different.
This world is quirky, dystopian, manic on acid, it really is almost like a hullucinagenic trip.
Christoph Waltz puts on a fine performance as Qohen Leth the lead protagonist in this post apocalyptic future.
What I love about his character is that Waltz portrays him as a completely blank slate which enables the viewer to project themselves into the movie.
Leth is bald, he has no eyebrows and overall has a very neutral look about him, with his main character trait being that of that neurotic misfit that we are deep down but struggle to admit. He is a walking contradiction, he lives by himself waiting for a phone call to explain meaning of life. He’s disconnected from world, suffers from overpowering thoughts of death and is in a true existential crisis. Yet he’s pulled back to the confines of the world that he lives in because by his human urges. His accent and appearance could easily lead you to believe that Leth is Polish, and given his addiction to being sat at his terminal you could be mistaken for believing that he is an online kasyno gambler, but his origin remains unconfirmed and at the terminal it is purely business!
The mise-en-scène is visually arresting littered with symbol and hidden meanings all combing to provide a social commentary on our modern day lives. To even begin to fathom and truly understand all of these hidden meanings multiple viewings are a prerequisite.
Advertising is a huge theme of the movie, concealed in the background and extremely obvious at the same time. This theme feeds nicely into the story and delivers commentary on the brainwashed society that we live in today, delivering the message that we are so special and deserve happiness when compared to everyone else. Which of course in reality isn’t true at all.
It is hard to accept we really are alone and insignificant, and Leth embodies these feelings. The irony of Leth, unlike protagonists in many other films is that he can’t fix any of the problems or issues that he comes up against, unlike other protagonists in other films, which further strengthens his connection with the audience.
The trailer was released in February 2014 and provides a great insight into the atmosphere created in The Zero Theorem universe, with brilliant bright lights reminiscent of an online casino contrasted with dark tones. Showing clear influence from Terry Gilliam’s other sci-fi classics Brazil and 12 Monkeys, with the monotone feeling of Brasil and splashes of colour from 12 Monkeys. It’s arrival heightened the expectations for the movie and provided Voltage Pictures with the most YouTube views of any trailer at the time.
Not exactly the most upbeat soundtrack you’re ever going to find in a movie, the music fits perfectly with this near future dystopian tale. The one word I would use to describe it is ponderous, it’s hard for your mind not wander to deep and meaningful subjects if you listen to this soundtrack independently from the movie.
Whilst listening during the movie, the soundtrack perfectly reflects the mood of the movie whether it uses dulcet tones, melancholy rhythms or more upbeat sequences and provides some insight into the emotional state of the main protagonist.
Below is the official soundtrack from The Zero Theorem.
Not just one of my favourite sci-fi movies of all time, one of my favourite movies of all time full stop. The Zero Theorem largely went under the radar when it was released, partly because of the tone and subject matter of the film and partly because of the limited marketing. It doesn’t try to stand out with flashy CGI compared to other contemporary sci-fi films released in modern cinema, in fact even compared to 12 Monkeys you can see that the budget was limited.
In my opinion this could be seen as a true cult classic in years to come. Comparisons can be drawn with Blade Runner on it’s release; limited critical and audience acclaim and a downbeat tone that has inevitably put off a number of people. However repeat viewings in the future could provide a deeper insight and new found love for the movie that I have already discovered.