Pedro’s review published on Letterboxd:
Can we be honest and say that "Zodiac" is one of David Fincher's best films? I think it's time to talk about it.
I'll be very honest with you: I thought "Zodiac" was one of the worst films of his career. I remember watching it and not enjoying it very much, the feeling I had at that moment was of frustration, it was something that hadn't happened yet, because I love most of David Fincher's films.
I was convinced to watch it again because some friends told me that the movie would improve a lot if I watched it again, and here I am. They were right. The film not only improved, but also gained a whole new meaning for me. David fincher is not very concerned with giving answers to the audience, he wants you to follow those characters and have the same feelings as them. You who know a little of the real history know that the case was never solved, but you are apprehensive and wanting to find out who the Zodiac is. It doesn't matter if you know he's never been arrested, you just want answers, you need answers. And David Fincher chooses not to give those answers. It may seem a little frustrating at first, but the purpose of the film is to cause that feeling of frustration in you. The film wants you to feel how frustrating it was for all the people involved in that case who never found out who the real killer is. It is a very well written and incredibly real script. You realize that everything was done with the utmost care.
One thing that impresses me a lot in the film is David Fincher's stupendous direction. That basement scene is one of the most tense I've ever seen. The direction of David Fincher in this scene is careful and full of tension, it starts out calm and gradually shows us that the level of danger is increasing. Not to mention that Gyllenhall's performance in this scene is spectacular. I kept shouting: "Get out, get out, get out of there! Get up on that ladder, motherfucker! Don't look back at your donkey! Is the door closed? Break this shit!". That was my level of tension. Can you imagine one of us in that situation? It is better not to imagine.
Okay, now you must be asking yourself: "Okay, but when did you change your mind about the movie?". I answer you: it was in the third act. In my opinion, the third act of "Zodiac" is one of the best character studies of the past 20 years. All of Robert's paranoia and obsession with the zodiac is very agonizing and leaves you biting your nails. You want him to find out who the Zodiac is, but you also don't want him to get too close to the likely killer because you know he's at risk for his life. His feelings are conflicting and you don't know much to do but wait for events. Jake Gyllenhall's transformation during the film is phenomenal and deserved recognition at that year's Oscars. His last scene looking at the likely killer is both rewarding and frustrating. You know that guy is the Zodiac (or you are pretty sure), you know that he is hiding something, but you are frustrated to know that he was never caught. Gyllenhall is able to pass all these feelings on to the audience. He wanted to look at his face and so did we. It is up to you whether to accuse that man or not, I think it has become quite clear what my position is.
I think my text was already too long. "Zodiac" is yet another masterpiece by David fincher. As I said in my "Fight Club" review: all fincher movies always look better when you watch them a second time.