When the cast of a film includes talent like Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, you know you’re in for something special. While that “something special” may not be in terms of incredible special effects, or thrilling action, Z For Zachariah creates a thick atmosphere of tension and instability, which proves to be rewarding in its own right. This post-apocalyptic drama highlights what happens to the remaining survivors’ psyche and the lengths they will go to ensure their own safety.
As a result of some random nuclear event, most of the Earth’s population has been wiped out and Ann Burden (Margot Robbie) carries on alone. Lo and behold, Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) stumbles across Ann and her seemingly unaffected farm. On the verge of death, Loomis recovers with the help of Ann and the two develop a friendship/relationship fairly quickly. Their relationship is complicated when Caleb (Chris Pine) finds his way to Ann’s farm well, and Loomis and Caleb soon find themselves in a battle of wit over Ann.
Z For Zachariah, based on the book of the same name by Robert C. O’Brien, contains interesting moral and Christian themes. In many ways, Loomis and Ann find themselves as Adam and Eve, the arbiters of a new society. Caleb, then, represents the serpent, the bringer of moral deviance and evil. Caleb’s presence marks a rift between Ann and Loomis, causing their relationship to crumble.
The film lacks details surrounding the strange, nuclear event that wiped out humanity and doesn’t care much about explaining it to the audience. Rather than focus on the event itself, Z For Zachariah shows the psyche of these disparate characters and how the world has affected them. Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine distinguish themselves from one another; they embody these characters. Chris Pine with a Southern accent and Margot Robbie sans makeup and blonde hair, become something special in Z For Zachariah.
You can watch this film in select theaters or rent it on iTunes now.