The Lost City Of Z Review

The Lost City Of Z

Everybody’s looking for something.

Wise words from the Eurythmics there, and something early twentieth century explorer Percy Fawcett could have identified with, as I discovered in The Lost City Of Z.

Back in the olden days, before craft ale, deliveroo and tinder, men yearned for something else.

This something else was usually war.

You got to see the world, courtesy of the king, you got paid and you also got to feel like you’d done your duty for your country.

The murder, death, raping and pillaging of other countries was only for those who read the small print and, let’s be honest, reading ain’t exactly many soldier’s strong suit.

For Major Fawcett, who had no medals or war stories to go with his senior military moniker, there was a feeling that life had passed him by.

So when he’s presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, exploring the uncharted territories of South America for the Royal Geographical Society, Fawcett packs his bags before his fiercely independent wife can say ‘what the deuce?’

But the road to adventure and glory is beset by peril, and as Fawcett journeys into the unknown he may find more than he was searching for.

The Lost City Of Z is a curious, slow burning film based on the incredible true story of Percy Fawcett.

Fawcett was an extraordinary man, living a life less ordinary as he charted the hidden depths of the undiscovered amazon in his search for what he called the City of Z, an ancient civilisation north of Brazil.

As we follow Fawcett on his various expeditions, you’d think The Lost City Of Z would be a tale of excitement and adventure.

Yet the most thrilling moments happen away from the jungle and back in England, where Fawcett battles against popular opinions of the time that couldn’t conceive of any indigenous culture being comparable to that of western civilisation.

Fawcett also battles with his duty to his family and his country, as he returned to Europe at the outbreak of the First World War.
Sienna Miller, who plays Major Fawcett’s wife Nina, is another reason for the heightened excitement of these homebound scenes, as she’s by far the most watchable thing in The Lost City Of Z.

After a banal start, The Lost City Of Z becomes more beguiling as we move towards its ambiguous climax and Fawcett heads back to South America to fulfil his destiny.

And whatever that was, I hope it’s what sweet dreams were made of.

Jonathan Campbell

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March 2017
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