IN 1925, PERCY FAWCETT VENTURED INTO THE AMAZON IN SEARCH OF A MYTH. WHAT HE DISCOVERED BECAME LEGENDARY.
After a strife-ridden journey to the Amazon rainforest in the early 1900s, British officer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) becomes obsessed with going back and finding a lost city of gold. Director James Gray knows his Brooklyn very well, but here he challenged himself and made an epic about a real-life adventurer who disappeared in the jungle in 1925. Reminiscent of The Flight of the Eagle (1982), another story of how stubborn dreams and unrealistic preparations doomed an expedition, this film is slow but still riveting, with convincing period details and cinematography that makes us sweat as much as the cast. Not a richly drawn lead character, but still a man we can identify with.
2016-U.S. 141 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Dede Gardner, James Gray, Dale Armin Johnson, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner. Written and directed by James Gray. Book: David Grann. Cinematography: Darius Khondji. Cast: Charlie Hunnam (Percy Fawcett), Robert Pattinson (Henry Costin), Sienna Miller (Nina Fawcett), Tom Holland, Angus Macfadyen, Clive Francis.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Brad Pitt. Benedict Cumberbatch was allegedly considered for the lead.
Last word: “You’re faced with 100-degree temperatures, 100% humidity, and insects, crocodiles, snakes, spiders, and all that. I tried to dedicate myself completely to the film. My wife only came to visit for about three weeks. When I came back, I had this very long beard and looked like a drug-crazed Moses. It was then that I told her I’d been through a certain version of hell, and I meant it. On a different level it was very gratifying. I was making a film that was hopefully going to be at least in some measure an homage to heroes of mine, to the films I saw when I was a kid.” (Gray, Slant Magazine)