The Zero Theorem | Film review – Christoph Waltz startles in Terry Gilliam’s latest retro-dystopian fable

The Zero Theorem - Mélanie_Thierry

Terry Gilliam created a surreal comic masterpiece with his 1985 film Brazil, but he fails to pull off the same feat with this similarly retro-futuristic dystopian tale, The Zero Theorem. Christoph Waltz, startlingly bald and sometimes even more startlingly nude, plays the story’s hapless hero, the bizarrely named Qohen Leth. A hopelessly neurotic computer genius who lives in a derelict chapel, he toils away crunching numbers for the all-powerful ManCom Corporation, trying to solve a mathematical puzzle that will prove whether or not life has any meaning. Gilliam stuffs the screen with dazzling design, fleeting visual gags and zany cameos – Tilda Swinton pops up as Qohen’s goofy online therapist; Matt Damon as his enigmatic boss – but the story is too frustratingly muddled for his film to add up to another classic.


Certificate 15. Runtime 106 mins. Director Terry Gilliam.

Released on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital on Monday 21st July by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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