Zero Dark Thirty FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
- font size decrease font size increase font size
Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures present an R rated, 157 minute, action, drama, history film based on first-hand accounts of actual events, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and screenplay by Mark Boal with a theater release date of January 11, 2013.
The film opens to a black screen and voices of people heard on the planes before they crashed into the twin towers and then voices are heard within the burning buildings before they crashed to the ground. It’s September 11, 2001 and the director uses this opening moment for the audience to envision those moments on that day when approximately 3000 people lost their lives due to the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Two years later at an undisclosed black site, Americans Dan (Jason Clarke) and a young woman, Maya (Jessica Chastain) are holding a hostage, Ammar (Reda Kateb), involved in the plot to destroy American lives on 9/11 and thereafter. Now that the Oscar nominations are out by all means Chastain deserves the leading actress category nod and probably stands a good chance of winning. In the end everybody breaks, its biology says Dan, especially when interrogated and tortured in inhumane ways. Considering Ammar’s participation in killing so many human lives does it make sense not to torture him for information if he is unwilling to participate?
Maya travels to the Embassy of the United States in Pakistan to meet with the group in the search for Osama bin Laden. The outsider trying to fit in Maya meets the chief Joseph Bradley (Kyle Chandler), Jessica (Jennifer Ehle), Jack (Harold Perrineau) amongst several other CIA associates. Soon thereafter terrorist attacks continue throughout the world. In May, 2004 shootings take place in Saudi Arabia, July 2005 a bus is bombed in London and in September 2008 a Marriott Hotel in Pakistan is destroyed almost taking the lives of two CIA agents. All this time Maya and her associates are on the hunt for Osama bin Laden trying to find clues by interrogating other prisoners kept like monkey’s in small cages at black sites throughout the world, Pakistan, Poland, Afghanistan amongst others but it is a path to follow the messengers that may lead Maya and her crew to the whereabouts of their main target.
In 2009 there is a reward put on Osama bin Laden’s head for 25 million dollars but the question is if anyone would be willing to risk their lives for that amount of money which would ultimately lead to their death. In a secret meeting with a major lead it is seven CIA operators that lose their lives when they think they have a top informant. Billions of dollars spent, many human lives lost and the CIA is failing at their jobs. It’s not until Maya comes across some unknown information that the hunt for America’s most wanted takes a turn for the better.
Any American in Pakistan is a target for death and Maya has become top on the list but she is persistent in many ways whether in a foreign country or in the CIA headquarters in Virginia surrounded by a room of men she proves to be a fighter. Chastain’s character truly delivers one phenomenal line to the man in charge in Virginia and that moment alone sealed her fate for an Oscar nod. Her years of service pay off when she locates the house in Pakistan that may be harboring Osama bin Laden and after more than 100 days of waiting for our U.S. Seals to move in they finally decide to storm the much secured building that we all know leads to a terrorist leader’s bitter end. Thanks to a group of canaries, a German shepherd and a straight out of High School CIA agent who only worked on the case to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, a gold mine was discovered and Geronimo has been achieved.
Great direction once again from Kathryn Bigelow as she sheds some light for the American movie goers of how the capture of Osama bin Laden took place. Grant it the film is based on first-hand accounts of actual events but when compared to what the news at the time covered the story here reflects the events quite well. The film plays a bit lengthy but thanks to some good writing and special effects it keeps the story intriguing if even a bit difficult to keep up with some of the foreign characters. The character development lacks a bit seeming that the writers thrust the leads right into the search not giving the audience the chance to get to know anyone in the film other than Chastain which by the way is fine since she totally runs this entire story. Some great editing, special effects, footage of terrorist events and the interest to just know what may have went down on that night in Pakistan and this film is most intriguing and worth seeing. Although I must say when the Seals take over the Osama bin Laden residence that he is hiding out in there is truly a lot more noise, gun fire and deaths than I recall hearing about in the news but hey welcome to Hollywood. Written and respected with 3 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch