Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal give the American public a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes manhunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”
The movie, which is still being shown in Vermillion’s Coyote Theater, begins with emotionally gripping audio bits from various victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. The audience is then thrown into a series of interrogation scenes that are being witnessed for the first time by protagonist CIA Analyst Maya (Jessica Chastain). Using information gathered, Maya develops a lead which could potentially expose the whereabouts of bin Laden.
Embodying the burden of finding the world’s most dangerous man, Maya must not only contend with pressure from her superiors, but also the realities of investigating in a hostile environment. However, when the hunt goes on for years, potential leads become dead ends, and people keep dying, the tension mounts and Maya’s enthusiasm of finding bin Laden becomes an obsession.
This Oscar nominated best picture certainly gets down to the gritty details that went into tracking down the man who orchestrated one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in American history. That being said, Bigelow doesn’t try to pretty the realities of the interrogations that were orchestrated to gather information. This film is not for those who are easily disturbed, but the scenes are necessary to develop the context and create the dark atmosphere that surrounds bin Laden.
Screenplay writer Mark Boal does a good job of building layers of context to further move the plot and create the suspense needed for the final sequences of raiding the bin Laden compound. The film doesn’t have a lot of action scenes, but the suspense keeps you wanting more.
“Zero Dark Thirty” did not fall short of my expectations in terms of cinema quality, but foolishly, I expected more of a war thriller instead of a drawn out episode of CSI. The production and acting quality was phenomenal and it is no surprise Chastain already has an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win for her performance.
This film couldn’t make me any more proud to be an American citizen and proud of the work all the men and women do for our country. Although some of the storyline was dramatized for the sake of the audience, the emotional context the scope of the film carries is surreal.