Review : Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac was directed by the great David Fincher and has an amazing cast which includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo.
The movie depicts the investigation of the Zodiac killer from 1969 to 1991. As most probably know, the Zodiac is one of the most infamous serial killers in the United States. The main characters are a journalist (Paul Avery) and an illustrator (Robert Graysmith) working for the San Francisco Chronicle and the crime detective (David Tosci) investigating the murders. The Zodiac regularly sent letters and crypted messages to newspapers, most likely to mock the police, unable to identify him. Robert Graysmith became obsessed over the years with finding out who the Zodiac was.

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Zodiac is an incredible movie which every crime-drama fan would love. The pace is quite slow and yet there is not one dull moment. The general tone of the movie is very sinister but realistic. I particularly admire how David Fincher does not show a lot of the killings, making those the viewer witnesses that much more intense and memorable. The murders are not gory, they are very realistic, which makes them very frightening as it is easy to identify with the victims.

Also, David Fincher is a master at capturing the investigation process on screen. He manages to make a scene where a character is searching through files exciting and suspenseful. I found the movie methodical with no plot twist necessary to keep you focused. You simply cannot take your eyes off the screen, almost sharing the characters’s obsession of catching the Zodiac.

The entire cast does a phenomenal job. Every performance, especially the main characters’, is brilliant. I especially liked Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Robert Graysmith. He gradually becomes so obsessed with identifying the killer, even when the case became cold, that he alienates his family and unintentionally puts his life in jeopardy when getting too close to succeeding. Robert Downey Jr is also particularly good at depicting Paul Avery’s decline.

The real-life Robert Graysmith wrote a book about the Zodiac killer (as shown in the movie) which I plan on reading as I loved the movie and watched it several times.

Zodiac is a movie I highly recommend. From the cinematography (there is brilliant camera work such as the camera following the first letter being delivered) to the performances, this movie is fascinating.

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