Weird Review: The Zero Thereom

zero thereom movie
★ ★ ★ (Solid)
Released: 2013
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Pat Rushin

On the weird scale, The Zero Thereom is out there, and I mean REALLY out there.

But in a good way.

The protagonist is an anti-social computer programmer whose one wish is to work from home so he can be available for a mysterious phone call. When he is granted permission to work remotely, the protagonist further isolates himself from society, hellbent on cracking the infamous “zero thereom,” which has been assigned to him from Management (ahem…Matt Damon). Using video game controllers, Qohen arranges formula blocks to complete the desired program. Oh yeah, did I mention that Qohen is played by Christoph Waltz?!


Christoph fuckin’ Waltz.





Okay, let’s get back to business.

The visual elements of The Zero Thereom flicker in and out of virtual and corporeal realities and suggest a merging of humanity (body, mind and soul) with technology. The scene changes are scant (Like I said, Qohen doesn’t get out much), but each setting is wonderfully bizarre. The main character lives in a vast, decrepit cathedral with stained glass windows–a far cry from the neon signs that clutter the city streets.

Until he meets the overtly sexual Bainsley (played by the gorgeous Mélanie Thierry), Qohen has little desire beyond work (and being available 24/7 for that mysterious phone call). Obsessive and brilliant, Qohen grows to view the zero thereom as a philosophical and spiritual undertaking and eventually triumphs over the fear that is holding him back.


*WARNING: Could contain boring material. Proceed at your own risk.

Qohen struck me as a superfluous man, a literary trope that appears in works like “Notes from the Underground” and “Crime and Punishment.” These men are characterized predominantly by their negative traits (i.e., ineffectual, isolated, fearful and insecure).Traditionally when presented with romantic love (usually a prostitute), the poor sod sacrifices human connection to satisfy a nagging internal need that he is no longer able to control. (Some superfluous men redeem themselves. Some don’t.)

Qohen faces down the eventuality of death each day and is haunted by visions of a galaxy being swallowed by a black hole, yet…he believes his life holds meaning. In the end, I think he proves himself a hero.


What did you think?



Blizzy Blair
Blizzy Blair

Blair Casey is an amateur hiker, perpetual note scribbler and news junkie. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with her husband and two cats.

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