Let me start right at the ending, because “The Lost City Of Z” has the most profound final shot in a film I can recall in a long, long, long time. Just absolutely incredible. Just picture, perfect, cinematic, symbolic genius.
Combine the adventurist nature of Indiana Jones in “The Raiders Of The Last Ark” with the subtle character study of “Mud” and environmental immersion of what “Snowpiercer” encapsulated; then you have “The Lost City Of Z”.
I had heard phenomenal things surrounding the movie, mainly how it’s a movie experience that should be experienced in the theater. And man-oh-man, where those people whom I read/listened to absolutely right. Now with that being said, I watched the movie on a plane to Ireland. And with THAT said, the entire movie was simply superb.
The story, based off true fact, is distinctive and grander than life in its ethical scope. We see a character rise to his highest personal peak without concretely accomplishing his tangible goal. We see the environment of the Amazonia become a mythos, and we get to witness how the idea of savages turns on itself over two centuries time.
A profound accomplishment by director James Gray is the way he was able to meld two decades of story so seamlessly. Beginning with Percy Fawcett, played by Charlie Hunnam, as a young major uncontrolled by the desire for the allegorically unattainable, a journey of figurative and literal exploration commences with no hesitation. The wildlife Fawcett chops down acts as a metaphor for him trying to understand his own concept of destiny and fate.
His companions Henry Coston and Arthur, played by Robert Pattinson and Edward Ashley, plot along the Amazonia and help facilitate the self-discovery. The trio stand together throughout the times following their first expedition, sticking it together through World War I. Watching the movie, you get to see how the values of these three change, culminating in a poignant scene that illuminates each character’s personal amendments.
Percy Fawcett’s wife Nina is played by Siena Miller, and her story is tragic and filled with personal sacrifice. You can see the strife in her performance, underlined most prophetically in an argument with Percy following his first return in his quest for the lost city. Miller, a one-time Golden Globe nominee, saves her knockout punch for the aforementioned final scene; again I can’t say how good the final scene and frame of this movie is.
“The Lost City Of Z” is a more than beautiful experience. The landscapes traversed by the characters are immersive, and the characters all have a charismatic magnetism that draws you in. The directing and acting are both energetic, and all-in-all the film is just a delight.
STANKO GRADE: A