Synopsis: At the dawn of the 20th century, British explorer Percy Fawcett journeys into the Amazon, where he discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment, which views indigenous populations as savages, the determined Fawcett, supported by his devoted wife, son, and aide-de-camp, returns to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case.
Release Date: April 14, 2017 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Drama, Adventure
There aren’t many films released in modern times that develop a true sense of discovery, for the characters and viewers. Journeying back to the colonial era, when European countries set their eyes on far-off lands for conquest, The Lost City of Z tells the (somewhat) true story of British adventurer Lt. Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who is dispatched to Bolivia to map parts of the Amazon that have never been explored before. What begins as an assignment turns in to an obsession for Fawcett when he comes to believe that an ancient, advanced civilization once occupied the area. He calls it the lost city of Z. By others, it has been referred to as El Dorado.
Drawing from the non-fiction book by David Grann, wherein he seeks to uncover all there is to know about Fawcett and his journeys to the Amazon, The Lost City of Z wastes little time before engulfing the viewer with a sense of adventure. The Amazon is otherworldly, full of dangerous animals, disease and people who do not take well to outsiders, especially those with a light skin tone who have sought to conquer what is not there’s to control. With writer-director James Gray’s vision, Hunnam develops Fawcett into a character that is not typical of the time. He does not seek to exploit the land or people, merely observe and unearth what could be historically significant. And that is why The Lost City of Z</i< is a film you can’t peel your eyes from. It is not your typical story of conquest, it is melancholy and fraught with emotional turmoil. It pits the need to explore against familial responsibilities. It questions humanity’s obligation to respect the past and present, and the dangers of not doing so. The Lost City of Z is a tale of discovery, that’s introspective and sensitive.
The Lost City of Z will haunt viewers. Those unfamiliar with Fawcett’s story will immediately seek out Grann’s book and any other information available. Why? Because Fawcett never returned home on his final adventure. His disappearance led many brave souls into the Amazon in search of him and various folktales emerged. As the Amazon and lost city of Z consumed Fawcett during his life, his story will consume you long after the picture ends.
The world has been mapped, explored, pilfered and divvied up. There are few, if any, unexplored territories left. Unless, of course, you’re a traveler, where setting foot in a destination you’ve never seen with your own eyes opens up grand possibilities for discovery. Through a cinematographic lens, though, you can actually see an environment long past as if you were witnessing its discovery for the first time. The past can come alive again, with all its wild enchantment. As is the case in The Lost City of Z, where cinematographer Darius Khondji brilliantly captures the beauty and mystery of the Amazon. The streaming light through the canopies of green, dense forest create a magical environment that is also full of grave danger. The camera journeys beside the explorers, along the river, keeping a watchful distance from what may lurk beyond. It finds unique shadows across faces of joy and sorrow. Traveling back in time may be improbable, but through Khondji’s lens, it’s made possible. And oh, what a fantastic adventure it is for the senses.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): James Gray
- Screenwriter(s): James Gray
- Cast: Charlie Hunnam (Percy Fawcett)Robert Pattinson (Henry Costin)Sienna Miller (Nina Fawcett) Tom Holland (Jack Fawcett)Edward Ashley (Arthur Manley)
- Editor(s): John Axelrad
- Cinematographer: Darius Khondji
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA