Friday, February 29, 2008

Muriel Awards 2007: Best Film, 3rd Place

(166 points/16 votes)

“Much has been made of the obsessive attention to detail David Fincher brought to Zodiac, but his brilliance is in how he uses this meticulousness to subvert the expectations we have from a murder mystery. Fincher uses the minutiae of the Zodiac case to illustrate the roadblocks in the way of the case being solved. Time and again Fincher sets up the audience to hope for a break in the case only to snatch the rug out from under us, and it’s not until after the film is over that we realize how much we wanted the Zodiac killer brought to justice. We want the various detectives and lawmen involved in the case to pool their resources, but they’re hemmed in by jurisdictional issues and the limitations of technology. We want Detective Toschi (the great Mark Ruffalo) to toss due process to the wind Dirty Harry-style, but he’s too busy fielding anonymous tips, and besides, that’s not how he rolls.

"Most of all, the film builds a case against Arthur Leigh Allen- and the creepy John Carroll Lynch fills in the rest- but although we want him to be the killer, the evidence ends up being largely circumstantial. After nearly a quarter of a century, the case is more or less back where it started- literally, as the first character we meet is also the last we see- and all the hard work and sacrifice and obsession over the Zodiac case has amounted to little or less to nearly everyone involved. In the end, even Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) can only stare into the face of the man he’s sure is the Zodiac killer with a look that suggests not so much triumph as impotence, and to have that look returned by a man who isn’t even sure why some guy is staring at him.” ~ Paul Clark

No comments: