I was a bit disappointed after viewing this serial killer movie by famous director David Fincher. My expectation was high, having seen a series of thriller movies. I selected Zodiac to view because of the encrypted messages that the killer sends out to newspapers, which tantalizes both the newspapers and the police.

While the story line is rock solid, and the direction is amazing, I think the director could have shown a bit more action in the movie which one would expect. At several places, the movie looked like a documentary of sorts, with meandering scenarios played out by gullible actors. While the real life chase of the murderer was more or less captured by the director, the mundane happenings in the lives of the police detectives and the newspaper staff kind of distances the audience from the real killer on the prowl. While there was exposure of the potential suspect, it was evident right from the beginning of the interrogation that it was futile without establishing concrete evidence as to his guilt.

The photography is awesome, the actors do their job (especially the cartoonist who does fantastic investigations), and the story line tries to replicate the actual happenings.

I like all the three key actors – Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. – all of them do a very credible job. Jake of course, excels as the cartoonist who gets engrossed in the murder story and in unearthing the serial killer. He spends all his time on this mystery to the extent that his wife gives up on him and leaves home with their children. The fact that Jake is after all, a common man who is more inquisitive than most folks was demonstrated when he runs out of the basement of the house of the killer’s friend towards his car – the context will not be clear if you have not seen the movie.

I saw the movie continuously without any break at home, given that the story indeed is an absorbing one wherein the killer does not apparently have any motive apart from seeking publicity. Such publicity seeking killers and arsonists were very visible in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s as we all know. There is also some suspicion that the Zodiac killer took credit for murders he may not have committed himself.

In any case, this is considered to be a classic murder thriller and so needs to be seen !


Vijay Srinivasan

20th September 2015


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