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Alternative Reality

The Zero Theorem (2013)


Duration 1h 47m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Terry Gilliam
Writers/Script Pat Rushin, Terry Gilliam
Starring Christopher Waltz, Gwendoline Christie, Rupert Friend, David Thewlis, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ben Wishaw, Mélanie Thierry, Matt Damon, Lucas Hedges, Tilda Swinton,

Elevator Pitch: Qohen Leth is a computer programmer who spends most of his time in front of a screen manoeuvring cubes on which are ascribed bits of an equation, and occasionally numbers appear on screen telling him that the solution to the equation is incorrect. He goes to a party where, during surreal activities, he meets a young woman, Bainsley, who starts to visit him dressed seductively. He is also visited by his supervisor and by Bob, the son of “Management”, his employer. Later Bainsley turns up with a VR suit which when he puts it on, allows him to visit a beach scene with her – nudge, nudge!

Content: Well! It is a Terry Gilliam outing and so everything is extremely surreal and may not be what it appears to be. The VR suit allows Qohem to remove Bainsley’s bikini top on the VR beach. When he clicks into her website we see that she is a web stripper. His home appears to be a disused church. He goes to the party where there are a lot of mad people. He meets Management on the walkway around an enormouse machine. At times he visits a facility where he gets vials of coloured liquor – I could not work out what that was.

A View: It is a bit futile to try to work out what is going on here and best to just relax and let the images wash over you. I was a bit frustrated by the opaqueness of the plot. Was there a plot? Apparently – if you look at Wikipedia. I did have a problem with the VR suit. I am a sci-fi writer sometimes and wrote a story which involved a VR suit, but there was a headpiece to complete the reality. The VR suit in this tale did not have one. But maybe that’s just a bit picky. If you like Terry Gilliam’s stuff you could probably watch this for nothing.

Additional Info: The film was made in Romania for a bargain $8.5 million. Many of the actors only worked for a day or two. But it still lost a lot of money.


About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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