For the past twenty years, film fans have been desperate for Terry Gilliam to make another great film. That’s not to say his output in that time has been all bad: Twelve Monkeys is excellent and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has its charms. But what we’re really desperate for is another movie like Brazil or Baron Munchausen; films that present an unfiltered look into Gilliam’s extraordinary visual imagination.
This is why we’re tentatively excited for his latest film The Zero Theorem, his Braziliest film since Brazil. From the look of the trailer, it’s set in a dimension one step over from his classic 1985 film, with an expansive and insidious government seeking to control people’s minds. We see images of a future that is both dilapidated and hyper-technological and are introduced to quirky British types played by Ben Whishaw, David Thewlis and Tilda Swinton. If anything, our concerns lies in the fact that The Zero Theorem looks like a Gilliam homage more than anything else.
Add to that some seriously weighty themes like the meaning of life and you could have a film in danger of collapsing under its own weight.
We’ve been disappointed by Gilliam’s films far too often, but with respect to the man who made some of Britain’s finest films, we’ll remain cautiously optimistic about this one.
The Zero Theorem is in cinemas 14 March