The Zero Theorem The Zero Theorem
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The Zero Theorem

The Zero Theoremis a 2013 British-French-Romanian science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam , written by Pat Rushin, and starring Christoph Waltz , Lucas Hedges , Mélanie Thierry , and David Thewlis . The story centres on Qohen Leth (Waltz), a reclusive computer genius working on a formula to determine whether life holds any meaning .

Nevertheless, one can easily regard the film as the third of a satirical dystopian trilogy or " Orwellian triptych" begun with 1985'sBraziland continued with 1995's12 Monkeys.

Qohen Leth, an eccentric programmer who refers to himself in the plural, is assigned to "crunch entities" for a company named Mancom. Finding himself suffering existential angst , Qohen constantly waits for a phone call, hoping that it might bring him happiness or the answers he seeks. When Quohen requests a "disability" evaluation, three company doctors determine that he is physically healthy, but request he have therapy from Dr Shrink- ROM , an AI therapist designed to provide mental evaluation. Wanting to meet with "Management", Qohen attends a party held by his supervisor, Joby. Stumbling into an empty room, Qohen finds Management and requests to work from home, as he would be more productive and would no longer risk missing his call; Management simply notes he finds Qohen "quite insane".

Attempting to leave the party, Qohen is pressed into staying by Joby and, when Qohen starts choking on an olive, he is rescued by partygoer Bainsley. His request granted by Management, Qohen is informed he is to start working from home, and is shown a massive supercomputer dubbed "The Neural Net Mancive"; containing all of the entities crunched by workers, Qohen is required to order its data to solve the "Zero Theorem", a mysterious mathematical formula. Spending months as a hermit whilst working on the program, he is diagnosed with numerous conditions by Shrink-ROM, and begins suffering nightmares involving a black hole .

Frustrated with his work, Qohen smashes his computer with a hammer, and is soon visited by Bainsley. Qohen confides in Bainsley that he believes he accidentally hung up a call that would have given him the meaning of life , and has desperately been waiting for a call-back ever since. Qohen is then visited by Bob, the teenage son of Management. Bob repairs his computer, reveals Management is spying on him, and suggests that Bainsley is only interested in Qohen because she is paid to be. After Qohen insists he will cease working on the Zero Theorem, Bob promises to get him his call if he continues. Having received a VR suit from Bainsley, Qohen interacts with her through virtual reality, which makes them both appear on a beach together. When Qohen asks if the sun in the horizon ever sets, Bainsley responds it is not programmed to do so. They soon kiss one another.

Visited again by Bob, Qohen, to his distaste, learns the Zero Theorem aims to prove life is meaningless through the Big Crunch theory. Digitally connecting to Bainsley again, Qohen is comforted by her, but when he denounces Management and suggests eloping together, she forcefully disconnects, damaging Qohen's suit. When Bob then takes his suit to repair it, Qohen connects to Bainsley unannounced, only to discover she is a webcam stripper . Bob returns with Qohen's suit, now repaired, and reveals his phone call is only a delusion, and admits his Dr. Shrink-ROM was only designed to identify his pathology rather than treat it. Qohen is visited by Bainsley, who apologizes for deceiving him, but claims she truly fell in love with him; despite Bainsley's offer to elope, which is encouraged by Bob, Qohen turns her down.

Qohen, discussing his problems with Bob, discovers Bob's health is radically declining. Caring for Bob, Qohen finds a hidden camera in his bathroom mirror, and begins to uncover and smash Management's cameras. Despite barricading his home, Management employees break in and take Bob away. Visited by Joby, Qohen is berated by him, as his actions got Joby fired. Qohen dons his now "repaired" virtual reality suit and connects to his computer, but is nearly electrocuted.

Appearing at the Neural Net Mancive, Qohen is greeted by an image of Management, who notes that Bob is hospitalized because of his declining health, which is due to a chronic illness. Management explains Qohen is now part of the Neural Net and, when Qohen asks questions about the meaning of his life, Management explains that there is none, and that he was never a higher power able to grant Qohen his call. Management explains that while the Zero Theorem would prove that everything is meaningless, the entire purpose of Mancom in "crunching entities" was to bring order to disorder, finding meaning in some form that he could sell. Management explains he chose Qohen to solve the Zero Theorem as he was its effective antithesis, since he had faith in finding meaning, waiting endlessly for his phone call. Management then disappears, apologizing as he no longer needs Qohen; angered, Qohen smashes the Neural Net, collapsing it and revealing a black hole inside. Smiling, Qohen jumps into it, only to appear back on the virtual beach. Resigned, calm and alone, Qohen stands in front of the sea and, after interacting with the sun, watches the sunset he causes. As the credits roll, Bainsley is heard calling Qohen, hinting that either Bainsley has joined him or he has conjured her up in his virtual world.

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