The dystopian genre has long proved popular on print, but faired more poorly when adapted to the big screen. Sadly Z for Zachariah joins the long list of apocalyptic offerings which fails to impress. Initially premiered at the Sundance film festival last year and due for UK release at some point in 2016, this adaptation of the book by the same name stars a minimalist cast of Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine.
In the movie, the world as we know it no longer exists. With most of the population wiped out by a mysterious water contamination disease, one woman survives a lonely existence until a ‘spaceman’ enters into her world. After inadvertently poisoning himself in the water, Ann (Robbie) nurses him back to health.
The two strangers provided companionship to one another, along with a sense of normality in an otherwise wholly un-normal situation. The longer they spend in each others company, the more human emotion and sexual instinct heighten.
Conflictions arise around their opposing views on religion. Spaceman John (Ejiofor) is a scientist, with a logical, knowledge-based mind, whilst Ann is the daughter of a pastor, who thanks God for her survival.
Before long, a third body enters into the equation. Caleb (Pine) is a southern-born white man from a farming background, who finds common ground with Ann in their shared faith. John grows jealous of their closeness, and tensions brew between the two men as masculine rivalry takes over.
Ann’s love lies with John, but she feels rejected by him, whilst Caleb gives her the attention she yearns for.
The ending, in typical dystopian style, is a mysterious one, which leaves the audience asking – how far is man willing to go for the last woman on earth?
Margot Robbie proves herself to be a varied actress, going from a promiscuous pretty girl in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, and violent vixen Harley Quinn in the upcoming ‘Suicide Squad’ movie, to a bare-faced, simple living farm girl, sheltered from the everyday materialism we take for granted. Otherwise though, Z for Zachariah is slow and somber, and likely to drop of the cinema radar just like the human population in it’s story.