• Joshua Buck

Zodiac (2007) Review

In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.

Director: David Fincher

Writer: James Vanderbilt

Producer: Ceán Chaffin

Genre: Crime/Drama/Thriller

One of the lines that pushes this story forward is:

‘‘The Zodiac killer has come to San Francisco’’.

Honestly this line is so good and its dialogue like this that can be used to really know when a writer knows what they are doing. It set the story in motion and told the audience what the conflict is and where the film is set. Its genius. I definitely haven’t justified it enough but that is what I look for.

The Zodiac is always kept anonymous and in dark light and never properly shown even though the killings are brutal. Even when he is in light with the killing in the taxi, we see a wide shot to not reveal too much. It is this level of being in the dark that adds to the story and real life events of the Zodiac killer and the fact that no one knows who he is.

There was a great moment of cinematography that I completely forgot about and that was when the camera is following a car from birds-eye view and is locked on to the car with its every movement. This was great to watch and I completely forgot about it. This is only one example of cinematography as there are some other amazing shots whether it is Robert Graysmith and Inspector David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) sat at a café this film doesn’t fall short of showcasing some beautiful images. Talking of scenes where people are sat at bars and cafés if they are lead characters in the story, we only see them anyone like a waiter/server seems to be cut off camera. I think this was intended to make the audience question everyone that they cannot see just like the Zodiac killer which is an amazing bit of storytelling from David Fincher.

That basement scene is such a well crafted and directed scene that make me shiver and every time I watch this movie, I want to shout down my television ‘‘Don’t go down there!’’ This scene happens at the perfect moment in the story where the audience has enough information that they begin to really question who the Zodiac killer is and that Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) a journalist that has become obsessed with this forgotten murderer and pursues in writing a book about the case. It is when he gets more evidence that he goes to a house and the man tells him to go down to the basement. It makes a really grim scene and you do wonder why he even goes down there. It shows that David Fincher is a master of his craft. The lighting is dim and the camera lingers on each shot that made me feel so uncomfortable.

There’s a scene where a woman is driving and seems to get a flat tyre after being flagged down, you just knew it was the Zodiac killer that got out of the car to help her. But this is where the zodiacs plan has a spanner in the works the woman he stops to help and intends on claiming as his next victim has a baby.

‘‘Before I kill you, I’m going to throw your baby out of the window’’

After this brutal dark scene, we witness a montage of zodiac letters written to the journalists in San Francisco and it is so welcomed and changes the pace of the movie after a horrific incident.

The film although very dark also has some funny light hearted moments, they know when to use it and when not too.

Overall, I think this is a great film and I remember it being really long but it isn’t that long. The direction from David Fincher is honestly amazing. Scenes that are so well crafted and that made me feel uncomfortable and the direction gave the story so much more substance.

I rate this movie a very solid: 4/5.

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