Review: Z For Zachariah (2015)


Set on the backdrop of a small rural town, somewhere in the south of U.S which serves as the only inhabitable place in the wake of a nuclear war, Z For Zachariah follows the story of Ann (Margot Robbie) who seems the be the only inhabitant of this place and lives alone on her family’s farm. Much to Ann’s surprise she’s not the only human on the planet when she discovers a distraught scientist, Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the two begin to form a fragile but imperative bond, that is until a guy by the name of Caleb (Chris Pine) arrives and well…things start getting awkward.

Z For Zachariah is a small film that embraces the fact that it’s a small film. It focuses on three characters and isn’t all that concerned with how the world ended but rather concentrates on the drama that unfolds among these three characters.

margot robbie chiwetel ejiofor z for zachariah

The acting is what, for me carries this movie and the film’s three leads all offer riveting turns. Chiwetel Ejiofor is undoubtedly the standout in a uniquely complex and wonderfully nuanced performance. Ejiofor plays a good guy with a very bad side and the vulnerability and jealousy he’s able to showcase makes his performance so great. Margot Robbie is fantastic as well as the innocent and god-fearing Ana. She gives a wonderful performance, a complete anti-thesis to her turn in The Wolf of Wall Street. And last but not least is Chris Pine who manages to shine even though he has a very limited amount of screen-time.

But I must say it’s the relationship between these three that’s even more so fascinating. The script from Nisar Modi is provokes thought and manages to create some truly compelling drama. It’s a bit of a slow-burn but I honestly don’t mind slow-burners if they are compelling in general and Z For Zachariah certainly is. The film is also one of the best-looking films I’ve seen this year, it’s gorgeously shot and makes use of it’s beautiful location (New Zealand, apparently) to full-effect.

margot robbie chris pine z for zachariah

But the film certainly isn’t without its flaws and for Z For Zachariah it’s the fact that it fails to always maintain focus and the minimalistic setting does make it a tad boring with pacing that drags throughout. The last twenty minutes are perhaps the worst of the entire film with an incredibly disappointing climax that just feels random and incomplete which in turn significantly diminishes the quality of the film.

Despite this, Z For Zachariah emerges as an immensely compelling film with some genuinely thought-provoking ideas, that is elevated by three strong central performances and some very interesting drama.




23 responses to “Review: Z For Zachariah (2015)

  1. I can’t wait to see it. It’s definitely an interesting concept. I love the cast… a huge fan Elijifor and Pine. And Margot Robbie is one of the rising stars


  2. Great review, Khalid. I agree with what you say about character, performances, and the direction.

    I actually really enjoyed the ending. It was perfect. In line with structure and internal approach. I love it when a film makes me want to see more. It’s also up for debate, but this is spoiler free. Check my review, coming soon. I just watched today. The themes are strong too. Nature vs technology. Faith vs science. For a hint, think of the organ and the end.

    This is another one of those indie gems I’m glad you spotlighted. I’d give it 8.5 out of 10.


    • Thanks Dan.
      I personally like ambiguous endings as well. The end of Birdman is a prime example but I just felt that the film ran out of ideas and didn’t know where to go but it was still very good for the most part.
      Looking forward to reading your review.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Blazing Reel Summer 2015 Scorecard | The Blazing Reel·

  4. Fine review. I actually really liked the final 15 minutes or so. A touch of ambiguity along with an eerie exclamation mark regarding mankind. I will stay vague but it really worked for me.


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