"Have You or Your Loved Ones Gone Zero Theorem?"
The Tragedy of Quohen Leth - interesting analysis by Michael Falcone.
Quote:Some people lack the ability to nurture their personalities. They don't buy what they want. They don't wear clothes they like. They avoid indulging in food. They don't drink anything but water. It seems as if they are afraid of existing as unique individuals. It is tragic especially when it reaches a pathological state that is both lonely and depressing. But it seems to be the underlying message of The Zero Theorem.

Uhhh...so this guys thinks the meaning of our life is to be a good little consumer and worker bee, and not wanting to be that is "a pathological state" that "lacks individuality"? Sounds pretty much like the opposite of what Terry's said about ZT's stabs at contemporary Capitalism...a theme Terry has done one way or the other at least since his late-70s book Animations of Mortality. In most of his interviews regarding the themes of ZT, he's said that it's about what's wrong with the world today, not so much about what's wrong with Qohen as according to Terry, Cohen's reactions to the world of ZT seem to be the only sane ones.
While I agree with you that the film is most definitely a satire of our digitally obsessed culture, I personally think that both the society that Qohen lives in, and he himself are inherently flawed. I forget where I read this, but someone pointed out that Qohen is constantly brushing away "The Call" he is waiting for, because it's not coming from his phone. Bainsley's character is the obvious example of this as she is a "call" girl who offers him love and a chance to escape, which he ultimately rejects. Also there's a scene of him shooing away some doves (symbolic of God's messengers). I actually felt a little sorry for Joby at the end (even though he was clearly wrong about what Qohen was up to with Bob). He felt betrayed by Quohen, leading me to believe that he did consider him a friend on some level—unlike the dynamic between Sam and either Kurtzmann or Jack in Brazil. I've also heard Gilliam refer to Qohen's story as a tragedy. You can engage with the world without being "a good little consumer and worker bee".
Yeah, I also felt sorry for Joby. He may have a problem with names, but he was always just trying to help and be friends. Though I was surprised by how stoically Qohen took the news that Joby and obviously Management are now supecting him of illicit liberties with Bob and Qohen is just like, "I don't have time for this shit!"

Anyways, when Bainsley kicks Qohen off their fantasy love island for talking bad about Management, it reminded me of a few central themes from Marcuse's Eros and Civilization and One-Dimensional Man.

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