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Zodiac

As you might have seen from my entry for 2/6/7, I referenced the Zodiac murders. I did that mainly to provide some background information, because before seeing this film I knew nothing - I guess that's because it was a few years before my time. It's certainly an interesting film, and I mean that in as positive a way as I can manage given the circumstances.

The film follows the U.S. Zodiac murders that took place through the late sixties and seventies. Whilst most films follow the murderer as the anti-hero, this one follows the lives of those involved in the investigation, such as the police and the press. The murders actually play a small part in the whole film. Instead, it shows how the press are repeatedly manipulated by the murderer (who refers to himself as Zodiac) for his own campaign. On several occasions he writes to the press, including with the letter an encrypted message which suggests he will reveal his identity, along with the threat of further killing. When the messages are printed in the papers, the public are obviously encouraged to assist in solving the case - gaining him further notoriety and even more press coverage.

If you've read any of the background, you probably already know that Zodiac was never caught. Sure, the police had suspects, but they never managed a final conviction, which means you're probably wondering why anyone would watch a film where there is no real "justice". That's because the film doesn't focus much on the murderer, but those affected by it. It demonstrates that the investigation probably affected more lives than the killer did, along with how the police/press went to extreme measures verging on obsessive behaviour. This had consequences for their careers, health and families and also goes to show the degree to which some cases are investigated. The sight of the evidence and associated files alone is mind-boggling.

I don't really need to tell you much more, because that's all you need. The film itself was good, although I did feel that near the end, some of the detail could have been wrapped up a bit quicker, knocking about 15 minutes off it's two and a half hours, but at least you're never bored, because there's tension right up to the very end.

IMDB Notes here - *clicky*
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