By: Lindi Mugwara
The film is based on a non-fiction book: The Lost City of Z: A Deadly Obsession with the Amazon by David Grann. Major Percy Fawcett is assigned a mission by the Royal Geographical Society to map the region between Bolivia and Brazil as there is a dispute between the two nations about a valuable resource, and which country it belongs to. This an opportunity for Percy to reclaim his family name, tainted by his father.
He has a young son and doting, supportive wife, Nina Fawcett, (Sienna Miller) that he has to leave behind on his journey. He is accompanied by his aide de-camp, Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson). He is also escorted by a couple of other companions and an invaluable guide. The perilous expedition nearly results in the parties’ death as an Indian tribe attacks them. Uncertainty looms, as food is scarce, they have been traveling for months, delirium begins to surface. They reach their destination and that is when Fawcett discovers relics of pottery. And this convinces him that there is a lost civilization.
As his eldest son Jack (Tom Holland) comes of age, he accuses his father of abandoning them for all those years. And that was the cost for Percy, losing time with his family. His ambition to have his name in the history books, to have all the glory is what drives him to keep on returning. He explores the Amazon for a third time to find this fabled lost city.
Charlie Hunnam plays Percy Fawcett with a level of poise and vigor. You can feel the passion Percy has, and his motivation, due in part to Charlie Hunnam’s performance. Sienna Miller holds her own and shines in every scene she is in. Robert Pattinson as Henry Costin, was almost unrecognizable, he really transformed himself. Tom Holland shows flashes of his talent.
I have to admit I watched this film twice, hated it the first time but absolutely loved it the second time. With that this is not a film everyone will love, it has a slow burn appeal.