The Lost City of Z

Daniel O'Sullivan | 25/04/2019

Elevated by a powerhouse cast, The Lost City of Z stumbles through a somewhat flawed script to deliver an elegant and haunting cinema experience.

Set in the early 20th century, British explorer Percy Fawcett ventures deep into the Amazon in order to survey the region and reclaim his families name. After finding evidence of an ancient civilisation inhabiting the region, Fawcett and his compatriots Henry Costin and Arthur Manley attempt to journey back through the dangerous terrain in order to find this elusive 'Lost City of Z”.

It must be stated from the outset just how talented this cast truly is. Each cast member, primary or supporting, does an exceptional job in their own capacity, with Hunnam leading the film with a reserved intensity that brilliantly displays his acting prowess. Pattinson, Miller and Holland are also standouts in their own regard. Pattinson proves to be a theatrical chameleon and clearly immersed himself deeply into the role of Henry Costin. Millers portrayal of the independent and driven Nina Fawcett cements her place in the film and provides the much-needed emotional anchor to her counterpart. Though he doesn’t have as much screen time as the former two, Tom Holland once again turns in a brilliantly emotional performance as Jack Fawcett and proves to be one of the most talented up-and-comers in recent years.

These performances are displayed beautifully from shot to shot thanks to the cinematography skills of Darius Khonji, who’s simple and exotic approach to the film helped to provide a sense of nuance. Whether its prolonged shots of the scenic countryside, the baron wasteland of a battlefield, or the humid and exhausting rainforest, each frame is meticulously crafted to ensure the audience is as immersed in the story as possible.

However, the film is somewhat let down by writer/director James Grays script, which attempts to tell Fawcett’s story over multiple decades. Though in theory this seems like a suitable approach for a biographical drama, the execution inadvertently tests the audience’s patience as the films pacing can sometimes be too tedious to enjoy.

Conclusion

Though it may not be the easiest watch, The Lost City of Z is a visually stunning tale that showcases an outstanding cast and stunning cinematography. Now streaming on Netflix.