Everyone remembers where they were on Sept. 11, 2001. Many also remember where they were when President Barack Obama announced on live TV that the architect of those terrible attacks, Osama bin Laden, was killed during a successful covert U.S. military operation.
“Zero Dark Thirty” is the story of that harrowing mission and the decade-long investigation that lead us to the now-famous compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The movie is directed by Kathryn Bigelow, famous for “The Hurt Locker” and her previous marriage to James Cameron. When details of the SEAL Team Six operation emerged in the days following bin Laden’s death, it seemed like a story made for the movies — a 50-50 decision, a dramatic helicopter crash, taking out the world’s most wanted man. Although we know how the story ends, Bigelow still found a way to keep us on the edge of our seats.
The film’s suspense is mainly credited to its star, Jessica Chastain. Her character, Maya, is based on the real-life female CIA agent who was instrumental in tracking down the suburban compound where bin Laden was living. The agent’s identity is still anonymous, as she isn’t allowed to talk to journalists. However, her colleagues have said Chastain’s portrayal in “Zero Dark Thirty” does capture the real woman’s dedication and tenacity.
Maya is a firecracker, and Chastain carries herself well in the role. Maya survives two scary near-death experiences and doesn’t even bat an eye. In one scene where she sits in on a male-dominated meeting with CIA superiors, she isn’t afraid to say, “I’m the motherfucker who found this place, sir!” (You go, girl!)
The film has gotten some flak for its depiction of torture. It’s no secret that there have been admissions and allegations of the U.S. Military using harsh interrogation tactics to extract information from prisoners of war. “Zero Dark Thirty” includes many graphic scenes, including waterboarding and locking terrorists in small boxes for long periods of time. No side is without sin when it comes to the war on terror.
The movie is nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Chastain, who won the Golden Globe in that category. It was undoubtedly a major undertaking for the director and all involved with the film. It is the type of crowd-pleasing movie that usually wins that award.
Going in, you know what the climax of the movie is going to be. I still appreciated every moment of the action, however, because of the care and detail that’s apparent onscreen. The rehearsed tactics of the Navy Seals as they methodically work their way into the secret compound is an art form itself.
Bin Laden’s death May 2, 2011 was a pivotal moment not only for our country but counter-terrorism efforts worldwide. “Zero Dark Thirty” gives the iconic event the cinematic treatment it deserves.blog comments powered by Disqus