Zodiac ★★★★½

An epic of stylistic flourishes, question marks, and chilling, haunted brutality, Zodiac is a film that, while informed by history, is steeped in the richness of fine craftsmanship and organic ingenuity. Fincher, a director with a penchant for treating actors like lab rats, never haggles with or kisses up to timid audiences, which is why this film, one more focused on the journey than a bloody end result, is so authentic and painstakingly honest in its depiction. It’s the process, the three hour buildup of detail oriented madness, that drives this part police procedural, part monster movie forward. With the entire history of cinema and its carousel of artists at one’s disposal, it’s difficult in fact, to dream up a more perfect pairing of director and project than Zodiac, which pairs David Fincher’s incessant desire for perfection to a subject more or less about the same thing. Like Graysmith, Fincher has, with a camera lens as an excuse, reopened and reinvestigated a case as cold as the blood coursing through the killer himself. There’s a crazed obsession for resolution in Zodiac in both its characters and creator. A desire that flows freely from the mind behind the camera and into the actions carried out on screen. And yet, despite a director’s head long pursuit of the truth and a nation’s best efforts thirty years previous, the Zodiac’s identity lingers to this today, awaiting the one, incriminating piece of proof missing from an otherwise fully-formed puzzle.

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