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Review The Lost City of Z (2016): Takes you on a compelling journey but leaves up to you what the destination should be!

genre: adventure, history, drama, biography

The Lost City of Z is all about ambition and exploration physically and mentally. In between attention is paid to many facets and issues of life but you are never told how to feel about those since the film leaves it up to you to fill in the blanks. Some issues in the film will surely lead to debates since they are those kinds of topics. But they distract a little from the more psychological and more compelling question when to seek on or give up.

Percy Fawcett played by Charlie Hunnam isn't quite happy with his career and status even when he does have what most men desire. I think most people of a certain age will be able to relate since we all have that desire or wish to have reached a certain goal that we have set for ourselves. Which is different for each individual. For Percy it is to seem more glory and fame since he is under the impression that is what it takes to advance the social ladder. But soon after his first adventure in Bolivia he knows what he wants and what's most important to him.

The reason I mention this is because The Lost City of Z is not a thrill seeking action packed adventure a la Indiana Jones. It's far less romantic and rewarding. Except for the mental and psychological journey. Both Percy and his son Jack (Tom Holland) share the same ambition and destiny. Within this there is a lot of beauty but at the same time it's also very tragic. Since it has taken them a long time to get there. For the viewer this translates to a very slow pace and test of patience. Mind you I was never bored but there were moments where I was wondering when they were going to show the things I was expecting to see. Until it dawned on me that The Lost City of  Z was less about the adventure and more about the inner struggles of historical explorers like Percy Fawcett. The ending which is kind of a bummer could imply a number of things and none of them could be taken positively if stop and think about it. Although it does add quite some mystique to the tale. I thought the inclusion of the First World War sequence was unnecessary but now I think it was to point out the restlessness and obsession of Percy to find the lost city. Thing is that during the film the viewer is on the side of Percy. After many won't be. There are quite a lot of hints given throughout the film and most remarkable personified into James Murray (Angus Macfadyen) to make you see what really is going on. However like Percy you realize you have been blinded by hope and obsession for something that may have never existed.

I like how the film leaves up to you what you should believe. I think you should never give up dreaming. But you should never let your judgment be clouded and should always be critical even if it goes against what you believe. For me this film was worth the time but more with what it made me ponder about. And less about the performances or thrills. Still it has to be said that most performances were solid and Charlie Hunnam is doing quite well.

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