The Lost City Of Z Analysis

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There’s a wayward flavor to obsession, a feeling of being swept off one’s feet by some new passion. In James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, the expedition that began as Percy Fawcett’s chance to restore glory to his family name morphs into a lifelong zeal for exploration an discovery. Based on the book of the same name by David Grann, Gray’s film follows the life of British soldier Fawcett and his exploits throughout the Amazon rainforest. The film boasts expert performances, cinematography that conveys the paradoxical claustrophobia of the untamed jungle, and a plot that leaves the spectator insatiable, always hoping for additional revelations and understanding. Though the themes waver a bit and employ the noble savage stereotype to its full effect, The Lost City of Z beautifully surveys the spirit of adventure and obsession that consumes each and every one of us – in one way or another. Set at the turn of the 20th century, Z begins in the classic doldrums of the Hero’s Journey, when our hero is still a nobody. Despite his excellent soldiery, Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) “has chosen his ancestors poorly”. He is passed up for every promotion, and his professional prospects are bleak. Then the…show more content…
Exploration does not guarantee success; there’s a survivor bias to the stories of Magellan and Lewis & Clark, as we rarely get to learn the names of those who don’t return. But there’s a siren’s call to the men and women who wish to step into an unknown and steal understanding from the universe. The Lost City of Z champions these ideas magnificently. Fawcett and his compatriots are dogged pursuers of new ideas, and though they succeed slightly, for the most part they are only tantalized by inching up to the boundary of discovery before being forced back into the safety of civilization. A character late in the film expresses this theme perfectly, “A man’s reach should exceed his
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