It escapes from languishing in its own convoluted plot line
Creating a cinematic epic is difficult. There is an expectation around films billed as epics that other styles just don’t have. They are required, in general, to be perfect and this is perhaps not so unfair. A supremely long film needs to stay alert and fulfilling whilst still offering some sort of profound insight or pulsating action.
The Lost City Of Z is a great example of a film with this expectation on its shoulders and the key thing to note about it is that it actually manages to avoid onset boredom quite effectively. The nature of the story lends itself to dreariness and tired eyes but there is so much involvement in the story, it escapes from languishing in its own convoluted plot line.
It follows an expedition to the Amazon rainforest, with a purpose of locating the border between Bolivia and Brazil. Led by Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) and assistant Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) the travel leaves them battered both mentally and physically, however, a finding of potential mass importance leads Hunnam to become encroached in the mystery of a lost city deep in the Amazon jungle.
The strange factor that drags The Lost City Of Z down is that Hunnam is actually rather uncharismatic in the central role. Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller are magnificent throughout, but Hunnam for long stretches just does not appeal. However, there is one particular boardroom scene featuring Hunnam which is pure brilliance. The writing and portraying of those words is some of the most intricate and clever scripting seen this year. It’s perfectly powerful and beautifully precise.
The film itself is actually very polarising. The ways in which it shows time passing is wonderfully done, a device often mismanaged by filmmakers, yet there is a section on The First World War which is quite frankly terrible. It feels so disjointed and misplaced. Though few, these errors make it seem less flowing than it should, which is a disappointment.
The Lost City Of Z is a story of true determination and real heart. It’s about following dreams with passion, and that does come across. This is not a flimsy piece of film making by any standards and some elements are wonderful. All it needed was a bit of fine tuning to turn it into the timeless epic it so wanted to be.