- 1 hr 36 min
Zeroville is a 2019 comedy-drama directed by James Franco and based on the novel of the same name by Steve Erickson. The film follows the story of Vikar, played by James Franco, a young and enthusiastic cinephile who travels to Hollywood in the 1960s to make a career in film-making. Vikar is an oddball who is obsessed with movies and the art of filmmaking. He has a tattoo of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor from the movie A Place in the Sun on his shaved head, which only adds to his eccentricity. The story starts with Vikar standing outside a movie theater, which is displaying a poster of George Stevens' "A Place in the Sun." He walks inside the theater and watches the last 10 minutes of the film, crying and laughing uncontrollably. The theater owner, Dottie (played by Megan Fox), is immediately intrigued by him and takes him under her wing. Vikar eventually lands a job as an assistant editor at a film studio. He finds work on a film directed by veteran filmmaker Viking Man (played by Seth Rogen). Vikar's new job is to cut out the humdrum from the film and focus only on the exciting bits. This task turns out to be far more complex than he anticipated. He wants to create art and not just cut and paste the footage, but he has little say over what the final cut will look like. Meanwhile, Vikar also makes friends with a group of hippies who live in a house without doors. They spend most of their time getting high and discussing the meaning of life. Vikar is fascinated by them, but he also gets involved in a love triangle with Soledad (played by Joey King) and Zazi (played by Horatio Sanz), two of the hippies he meets. As Vikar gets more involved in the film world, he becomes disillusioned by the industry's power structures and their paucity of artistic idealism. Eventually, he decides to take matters into his own hands and make his own movie. The film is a surreal, chaotic ride through the world of Hollywood's film industry in the 60s. It is a nostalgic tribute to the cinema of the era and a satire on the values and absurdities of the film industry. It is peppered with playful cameos of well-known industry figures and witty in-jokes about classic Hollywood movies. James Franco's performance as Vikar is engaging and mesmerizing. He embodies the character's passion and quirkiness in a way that makes his journey through Hollywood more poignant. Megan Fox's Dottie is alluring and mysterious, and her scenes with Franco are the film's sweetest moments. Seth Rogen's Viking Man is a satirical take on the myth of the auteur. His character is selfish, insecure, and obsessed with his films' success. Horatio Sanz and Joey King's characters provide a contrast to the film world's shallow values, offering a glimpse of alternative lifestyles and ways of thinking. The film's production design and cinematography are impressive, capturing the essence of the 60s period with detailed accuracy. The movie is punctuated by an eclectic soundtrack that features everything from Brahms to Jim Morrison to Cher. The music augments the film's surreal and hilarious tone. Overall, Zeroville is a love letter to the movies and an exploration of the human psyche's complexity. It is lyrical, insightful, and entertaining, leaving the audience with the feeling that cinema is both an art and a crucible. Its protagonist's odyssey through Hollywood's labyrinth is a metaphor for a search for personal and artistic identity. A must-watch movie for anyone interested in the history and culture of cinema.