Movie Reviews

Published on April 14th, 2017 | by Don Guillory

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The Lost City Of Z

Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) stars as the British Explorer Colonel Percival Fawcett, who disappeared on an expedition in search of an ancient city and civilization in the Amazon. The film centers on the true-life adventure of Col Fawcett and his journey to find evidence of a lost people while engaging audiences in the ego and superiority complex that much of western civilization finds itself.
We are introduced to Fawcett as he is an Army Major who seeks to have some sense of distinction and recognition. Seeking notoriety and a sense of honor, Fawcett accepts the task of mapping out disputed territory between Peru and Brazil at the opening of the 20th century in order to prevent war between the two nations.

In his exploits, he is confronted with the exploitation of the indigenous population, extraction of resources, and an untamed land. Upon subsequent journeys and serving in World War I, he is consumed with the need to find a sense of honor in his duty to his nation. Over the course of the film, we begin to see how invested he is in this struggle to learn more about the people and places that he is exploring, however, there isn’t a true connection made between Hunnam’s portrayal and the audience. At times, I found myself not caring about Fawcett’s contributions or career. I could not get invested in his story or his struggle to find a lost city that he believed existed in the wild. By the end of the film, I wasn’t invested in who Fawcett was, what he set out to accomplish, or even his legacy.

One thing that I did find remarkable was that the film helps to expose much of the anxiety and danger that existed during this period and previous expeditions into the region. Additionally, it gave me an appreciation for the endless heights of the human ego, ambition, and drive. The film allows for a critique to emerge about western interference and exploration of the region and the ethnocentrism held by western nations. Lost City of Z is an expansive visual spectacle. The jungle becomes a living, breathing, creature that audiences will connect with, become fearful of, and appreciate. It is the character that carries the film.

The actors and actresses are the background. This aspect allows for the audience to become absorbed by the surroundings and the environment that the characters find themselves in.

The film is beautifully shot and captivating. The sequences are engaging and give the sense of being transported to a foreign, mysterious land that holds secrets that many of us could never comprehend or witness with our own eyes.
4/5

 

By Sasha Glenn

A tale of a man lost forever in the fervor of a fateful pursuit, “The Lost City of Z” is a recreation of actual events, detailing the life work of British explorer and soldier Colonel Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam). The film is based on David Grann’s biographical book by the same title.

Fawcett is portrayed as a man who continually grasped at existential meaning in his life. In part, his pursuits largely seemed to aim for glory alone. But when he was assigned an exploration mission into the South American jungle, he embarked on a journey to discover cultural insights unknown to Western society in his time. Despite the ridicule and doubt his discoveries were subjected to, he became a lasting historical figure.

The film is shot with surreal lighting and almost takes on the visual sensation of an old National Geographic magazine brought to life.

It gives off the sensation of watching a documentary and a uniquely thrilling adventure simultaneously. But, it doesn’t try too hard to overplay the dramatics. On first thought, it seemed certain aspects of the plot could have been much more thrilling and graphic. A scene where Fawcett and his men encounter a cannibal tribe, for example, could have been smothered with gore. But the film maintains a more realistic and classical illustration of the adventure.

A beautiful cinematic experience, I give “The Lost City of Z” 4 out of 5 stars


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