The Lost City of Z is a film that surprised me in many ways.
It follows the story of Percy Fawcett, a British soldier who made numerous expeditions to Bolivia and South America in his lifetime. Over the years, he falls in love with the region, and it’s grandeur takes hold of his life. He believes that an undiscovered city, which he names “Zed”, exists somewhere deep within the jungle. It becomes his mission to find it.
I had expected the film to be purely about an expedition that Fawcett went on, and that it would follow him throughout a singular adventure.
The film instead follows the entire adult life of Fawcett, from young army major and first time explorer, to seasoned adventurer and surveyor.
The result is a character study more than anything. It is at times a survival film, at times a Victorian Drama, and even sometimes a war film. This blend of genres and tones might seem overwhelming, but the team behind The Lost City of Z weave it together into a fabric of beautiful, mesmerizing storytelling.
Charlie Hunnam delivers an absolutely mesmerizing performance.
The Lost City of Z wouldn’t be the same without its mesmerizing star, Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak). He anchors a film that is entirely about his character – he is in every scene and nearly every shot, and he doesn’t let up.
He is everything, from inspiring, to broken, to demeaning, to fierce, to peaceful, and just about everything in between. He never has a dull moment, and his portrayal of Percy Fawcett will undoubtedly raise his mythos even more.
The supporting cast holds it’s own as well, even if they are more various foils to Fawcett. Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, and Angus Macfadyen all turn in admirable performances.
Pattinson plays Henry Costin, Fawcett’s best friend and most trusted companion. Sienna Miller is heartbreaking and strong as Fawcett’s wife, Nina. Macfadyen plays the despicable James Murray brilliantly, and Tom Holland plays Fawcett’s son, Jack, who wishes to be like his father.
Oh, and someone you might recognize has a nice cameo in the film…
Honestly, though – the casting is really quite excellent, with Charlie Hunnam shining above all.
The technical elements make it all the more mesmerizing.
The sound, cinematography, and production design envelop the audience and carry them from London, to the Amazon, to the trenches of World War I, and the English countryside. The aura of the jungle is perhaps the most impressive. Try to catch the film in a theater, if you can. Nothing beats beautiful sound design coupled with surround sound!
You will be treated to a beautiful, intense, and surreal story about one man’s quest to find himself. Nothing is like a movie that can’t quite leave your head after you see it, and The Lost City of Z is exactly that.
Cinematography, sound design, adapted screenplay (mayyyyyyyyybe best actor???)