By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The Lost City of Z is one of those rare films which does not glamorize the pulps, where exploring the world means danger in every turn! Many old-time radio shows over dramatize these stories so listeners are invested to tune in next week, and not many — at least to my knowledge — lay the world grounded in reality. They are more like heroic fiction than anything else. When considering this biography takes place circa 1912 and spans nearly two decades, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
This film written and directed by James Gray does a fantastic job of detailing the life of adventurer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) from his days of being an intrepid socialite to explorer to soldier (and back), and his conflict with “high society” which led to whether or not he is accepted amongst his peers because of something his father did. Ultimately, this film is about father and son relationships instead of seeing how Nina (Sienna Miller) stayed devoted to him. Some may say he is out carousing through jungles in search for a lost city and fighting in World War I as a means of escape. He knew he had a duty to his country than to his family, and while the latter plight gets explored to a tiny degree, I doubt a full look at his family life could have been done. Sacrifice had to be made to emphasize which narrative matters. In this movie’s case, the various conflicts tends to focus on matters of male ego, especially when he has a rival of sorts in the Royal Geographical Society.
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