If you’re walking into the theatre expecting to see Charlie Hunnam continue to portray a different version of Jax Teller, then I recommend that you slowly walk out of the theatre and go re-watch ‘Sons of Anarchy’ on Netflix. The main reason why I watched ‘The Lost City of Z’ was because of Mr. Hunnam and though I did become a fan of his after watching Sons of Anarchy, this movie is a complete departure from Jax Teller. I will admit that I was taken aback when the Archlight Hollywood employee said that ‘The Lost City of Z’ would run 2 hours and 21 minutes but the movie ended up being an unexpectedly-beautiful distraction from the tiring and long work day.
The movie is a powerful portrayal of the British adventurer, Percy Fawcett as he tries to discover a lost city in the Amazon. I should make it clear that this is not an epic action-adventure movie; it is however a biopic of an admirable man. The movie took me on a cinematically-beautiful journey of exploration but more than the exploration of the amazon; I felt like the general theme ignited a self-discovery adventure. Fawcett’s natural pull to the jungle was genuine and since his explorations took him away from his family for years at a time, you were left with the question of why he would continue on these journeys if his family is being left without him for so long.
This is where Charlie’s best work came in; he played Percy with the strength needed to be an explorer in the Amazon and also allowed him to have the perfect amount of vulnerability. He made it clear that this man felt a sense of urgency to discover something that would give his life meaning yet he also portrayed a man who felt immense guilt about continuously leaving his family. Though the explorer side seemed to have the strongest side of the pull, it was difficult to resent this man for leaving his family. In moments he almost seems relatable, like when he seems full of frustration when age has caught up to him and he feels like his dreams have not been accomplished. Charlie has officially put his best work (so far) in film and his star is shining brighter than it ever has.
Sienna Miller caught me completely off guard with her portrayal of Nina, Percy’s wife. Her proto-feminist was a departure from what we usually see of female characters from the 1900’s. Her dialogue was centered in her love for Fawcett and her confidence in herself. Nina was a dedicated wife but not in a “woe is me” type of way, she believed in her husband and was aware that, though at times selfish, essentially he was doing it all for his family. Sienna gave Nina a genuine and kind type of strength that grabs a hold of you unexpectedly and in turn makes you care about this character. Her last scenes are heartbreaking in its depiction but Sienna delivered them full of heart and conviction; which in turn had me thinking about this movie for the rest of the night and into the next day.
If you’ve looked into Fawcett’s life you know (SPOILERS AHEAD) that he went on his last mission with his son and they were never heard from again. There are countless of theories out there as to what happened but in reality no one knows. Nina, dedicated the rest of her life to trying to find them but she unfortunately died not knowing what happened to them. I feel like the movie said a beautiful goodbye to this man, though the ending is also up for interpretation, I feel like they were poetic in showing the end of this man and it truly was heartbreaking to realize that we will never know what happened to Fawcett and his son.
I knew nothing about Percy Fawcett going into the movie and yet I left the theatre aching for this man and his life mission. I felt the same way that I felt after listening to the Hamilton soundtrack; completely in awe of this man who I knew nothing about (I didn’t pay attention during History class) and feeling the need to know more about this incredible human. I have James Gray to thank for the overwhelming feeling that I left the theatre with. His vision is what put this beautiful journey together and though the powerhouse of the cast definitely helped, it was the movie in its entirety that made the impact.
The Lost City of Z left me with an overwhelming sadness for Percy Fawcett but I also found myself angry. Why are we not learning and celebrating Mr. Fawcett? Okay sure, he didn’t technically discover the city but he undeniably knew it was there. Why do we dedicate an entire day to a man who murdered Native Americans but deny Fawcett a day? Fawcett not only came across indigenous people, but he respected them, he defended them and he was fully aware that they may be smarter than anyone else thought they could be. Though The Lost City of Z makes it a point to not depict Fawcett as the white-savior to these indigenous people, personally I feel like his explorations are more worthy of a day than Columbus (again these are just my opinions, no where in the movie is this point being made).
The Lost of City Z is worthy of a big screen; this is the kind of movie you want to enjoy in a movie theatre. I urge you to get out this weekend and watch this movie. Maybe you’ll be doing it for Charlie Hunnam, maybe you’re a huge Pattinson fan, maybe you’ve watched all other movies out today; no matter the reason I promise this 2 hour and 21 minute journey is worth taking.
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