Ideally better known as “The Big Crunch Theory” this movie introduces a daunting idea about the universe, which probably brazes a heavy topic for some. Though other theories may prove more likely or plausible, such as the ever-infinately expanding universe theory, or other possibilities such as “The Big Freeze” theory or “The Big Rip” theory (following the Big Bang), the topic of a “Theory for Everything” (another movie I’d like to review) has enough of us wondering what goes through the minds of physicists, astrophysicists, cosmologists and other scientists. Anyway, the terrifying “Big Crunch” makes better on the sci-fi element of the horror we crave in science fiction dramas. I can even recall at some point during the Blockbuster years, observing the science fiction film section merged into the horror section at some locations! Zero Theorem seems to capitalize on the terror of nothingness and purposelessness while our humanity hungers for resolve. It plays on our fears that everything that we are, that we achieve, that we leave behind, is all for nothing and will eventually be destroyed. Much darker than other theories about the universe have to offer, but of course, much better for a thought-provoking, ego-diminishing sci-fi film designed to END YOU.
Social anxiety permeates the protagonist, Qohen Leth, as he is haunted by images and thoughts about an ominous “black hole” in space. The cinematic terrain is littered with little tests of faith and obvious structures illuminating his religious background. Existential questions plague our protagonist as he impatiently and nervously waits for his phone call that never comes and anxiously cracks at mathematics as he’s been recruited to solve the Zero Theorem by way of a video-game emulating software format on his home computer. I only wish math was as fun as video games! I’d probably never leave my pajamas either.
Eye candy makes an entrance to urge him into these realizations and provide him a sense of peace or relief to his traumatized complex and difficult task. Too bad she gets to be the victim of his perversive outlet to stabilize his own insanity, in effect, damaging the relationship.
Psychotherapy seemed to be a recurrent theme, perhaps suggesting that his philosophy, invalidated faith, work and stress have contributed to an increasingly agitated state in which his fragile mental state and emotions seemed to drive his genius.
A few things stood out to me. Where are the robots in this futurific film? Also, considering how much power, authority, and wealth Mancom (the company he works for) has, why can’t they afford to put color, face recognition surveillance cams in his home to monitor him, yet the time period has all these futuristic things like custom ads that identify and follow you (just as annoying as ever), neuro-technological braingasm suits, and such. Management still addressing budgeting concerns?
Curiously, another thing that was left out could have enhanced the film, through the snarky teenager. Perhaps mention of other theorems in physics and biology would have helped to support the zero theorem in itself or to support the movie’s anti-religion theme. No mention of the Red Queen Theory, or the Selfish Gene Theory, Chaos theory, Mathematical Universe theory, String Theory. Maybe that would have made it too loaded.
Some great pauseworthy moments, like when they are sitting on the bench in front of a amalgamation of red “No Smoking” style signs which had miscellany No this, no that. You can actually pause the screen for a few more minutes of laughs. This is one more moment where the dark humor permeates.
Likely, as society becomes more dystopian yet slightly totalitarian, there is still evidence of the balance between big industry/corporation monopolies and socio-economic status disparity.
The premise being that Mancom has used him as a tool to crack the code to the Zero Theorem (a mathematical proof/an equasion solved to conclude that the universe will approach a singularity where it will collapse on itself through a black hole and blast out the other end in another resultant Big Bang… all this universe is for nothing). The biggest disappointment about this film was probably the failure to mention or incorporate other plausible theories such as the “Big Rip”, “Big Freeze” and an ever-infinately expanding universe. Perhaps we can explore these in a trilogy.
In the end, the audience is tempted to lose faith and enjoy the beauty of life, or escape into life in a delusion.