Robert Graysmith: I… I need to know who he is. I… I need to stand there, I need to look him in the eye and I need to know that it’s him.
David Fincher is a notoriously meticulous director. Some might even say obsessively so. All the more fitting that he should tackle the true story of the hunt for the Zodiac Killer, a story that revolves around an all-consuming obsession with revealing the identity of the infamous serial killer, based on Robert Graysmith’s best-selling book.
For me, this film gets exponentially better every time I watch it. Though it’s just on the cusp of my top ten films of the last decade now, as time goes on, it will probably move further up the list. There’s just so much here to absorb with each viewing. Fincher’s attention to detail permeates the film in such a way that it’s almost overwhelming, which is part of its brilliance. His unwavering dedication to the story is as steadfast as Robert Graysmith’s (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) need to uncover the Zodiac’s identity.
Part police-procedural, part mystery, part noir-thriller, part horror, Zodiac is a wonderful cinematic blend, distilling the essence of genre pictures into mainstream fare a la The Silence of the Lambs, which is no easy feat. It helps to have a stellar cast, including Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Elias Koteas, Chloe Sevigny, Brian Cox, Philip Baker Hall, and John Carroll Lynch to name a few. And the amazing cinematography by Harris Savides doesn’t hurt either.
It’s a great slow-burn examination of obsession that stays true to the tag-line, “There’s more than one way to lose your life to a killer.”