Saturday, January 12, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Screenplay by Mark Boal

Stars: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Fares Fares, Jennifer Ehle, Édgar Ramírez, Mark Strong and James Gandolfini

One of my most anticipated releases of 2012 was Kathryn Bigelow's latest feature, Zero Dark Thirty.Waiting on bated breath as the movie didn't come out in wide release until it was nominated for five Oscars on Thursday. Bigelow's last film was the Oscar winning The Hurt Locker, which was my number one movie of 2009. I fully expected that this movie was surpass it. Needlessly to say, I was slightly disappointed with it.

Maya (Chastain) is CIA operative who has been reassigned to Pakistan after the events of 9/11. She witnesses first hand what interrogators do to get the information they need to find the most wanted man ever. The small groups of operatives go off of leads and intelligence reports to find the exact whereabouts of bin-Laden. Is he in a cave as the American people all believed? Was he hiding in place sight and nobody knew anything about it? That was Maya's number mission to locate and bring bin-Laden to justice.

I remember the night when the president announced that Osama bin-Laden was killed. People were gathering in front of the White House cheering on his death. Watching a movie, I remembered a phone interview I had with former Fox commentator John Gibson on his radio show a few years back. He asked me if the US should go into Pakistan to get UBL. I said, yes. We debated on how can the US invade a friendly country to get the mastermind behind 9/11. He had to pay for killing 3,000 people that day. I was proven right. In your face, John Gibson. Suck on that.

As stated before, my expectations with this movie were very high. I thought it was going to blow all of the other movies out of the water. Was the movie intense? Yes. They were few and far between, expect the last act of the movie was edge on your seat. I had the same feeling when I saw The Master. The movie felt empty. I was bored was the movie, shifted around in my seat. I think that Chastian's performance deserved the nomination for Best Actress. There were specific moments in The Hurt Locker that I back on with awe. I guess, that would be said with the last moments of the movie, but it had to be added in when the US captured bin-Laden as they made the movie. Without that last part of the movie, it would been another disappointment as I had many this year.

My Rating


  1. Nice review, but I am going to have to disagree on the middle-of-the-road/boring idea. I found the film tense from beginning to end, even in the so-called slower parts. It is funny that a film, where we all know the outcome, can keep that intensity, that dread, that palpable excitement going for nearly three hours, but Bigelow has managed just that. I loved The Hurt Locker (number three in my Best of 2009 list but I believe Bigelow has outdone even that here. Could even be a masterpiece if one were willing to use such a term (don't like saying that too often, for it takes away its power if used to wily-nilly).

    And don't get me wrong, I am not putting down your opinion - you have every right to it, for I am sure you believe strongly in it, and who the hell am I to say you are wrong, because, of course, you are not - but I am just having a bit of discourse here. I will agree with you that Chastain deserves the nomination. I think she will win the Oscar as well, and deserves to. I was also glad to see a strong woman character (starts out somewhat weak, but becomes a powerhouse) who does not need to be put into any romantic entanglements for narrative sake - much as Hollywood seems to always do.

    Anyway, good review.

    1. This is what I like about fellow cinephiles. We can disagree about our own interpretations of the movie and still respect a person's opinion of it. I guess, I had too much expectation with the movie and was disappointed in that aspect. The last act of the movie was fabulous. It should studied in film studies classes.