Is a mystery thriller based on a non- fictional book by the same name written by Robert Graysmith.
Zodiac tells the real life story of manhunt for the Zodiac , a serial killer who terrorised the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s, taunting police with letters, bloodstained clothing, and ciphers ( encoded algorithms) mailed to newspapers. The case remains one of the United States’ most infamous officially unsolved crimes.
Cast – Jake Gyllenhall , Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, John Caroll Lynch
Director – David Fincher
The story begins with the SanFrancisco Chronicle and other newspapers receiving an anonymous letter and an encrypted algorithm, laying claim to past murders ,and demanding them to be published unless they want more killings.
While crime reporter Paul Avery and police dept are busy chasing , the spate of killings and claim letters continue over a period of time and areas and with haphazard frequency. Cartoonist Robert Graysmith who works for the Chronicle is not taken seriously but has a knack for solving puzzles, is intrigued and intents to follow the cases.
The film follows a laborious path detailing the cat and mouse chase, the frustrations of the police and investigators at failure to nab the culprit and Robert’s growing obsession to solve the mystery of Zodiac’s identity.
The film covers a time period of many years to show us how Zodiac kept everyone on a blind goose chase , how Robert relentlessly followed up on cases and how he was bang on in his investigations and.. Yet the police failed to officially close the case.
As per the records , not only is the screenplay based on the book by Robert himself but also required an extensive research by the writing team in taking first-hand accounts of many major stake holders in the story.
The authentic procedural details are interesting. The mystery and fear around Zodiac is chilling. The chase is intriguing.
But what I found lacking is the pace .While the film claims to have high critical acclaim , impresses us with its authentic research based and real accounts but I found the chase very slow and frustrating at times. Ironically it maybe owing to the fact that the real life chase indeed was very long and very frustrating Or that the techniques shown, obviously dated back decades, seemed outdated to me.
But the film is worth a watch for the investigative thriller buffs and it being a real case based is an added charm.