It would seem that Kathryn Bigelow after her great success with The Hurt Locker gained enough credit to do this little big movie about the hunt for the most wanted man on a planet. I first saw a cable TV movie Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, so I roughly knew the story and of course the ending that I think everyone knows by now. They kill Osama, there, I’ve said it, major spoiler. Lets start with the fact that this movie caused a major discussion all around the world concerning the methods used to obtain informations about Osama’s whereabouts. Torture is something that we would like to think belongs to the dark ages or some fringe terrorist groups and “evil” countries, but the fact remains that almost every country in the world uses it to obtain information. To continue with this part of the story we must first take a look at the actual movie:
Zero Dark Thirty is more of a documentary than a movie, yeah it sure looks like a regular movie, but the direction, storytelling and everything else screams documentary, all its missing is Morgan Freeman or David Attenborough to be complete (that would be a fun movie). We start with a young female operative, unexperienced and unaccustomed to torture, water-boarding and all the fun stuff that is being used on “assets”. As we follow her, we learn more and more about the actual processes that led to the capture, and the lengths that people are prepared to go to achieve their goals. Later on we meet the team that actually raided Osama’s house, and killed him, so we get to know more about them and their take on this situation (just another job) Again this entire film is shot without any prejudice or bias, and I must commend Kathryn for not turning it into a blood fest or some patriotic bullshit. What you take from it is your choice, you could just see it and go hmmm thats how they did it, or you can start asking questions is torture ok, should we spend money and resources on some more immediate threats…
This brings us to that outrage from the first part of the review, where people were so shocked and appalled by the scenes of torture that they questioned the director for shooting them, and consequently (talk about reverse priorities) the actual torture that went on and is going on. I must admit that those scenes are quite difficult to watch, what with all the truth and that masterful camera work. There is no music, just two guys hanging out (well at least one of them is hanging) and you are left there with the feeling that you should do something about it. A brilliant scheme, if it was intentional, but it does not sit well with everybody, because they will see the emptiness and not fill it, while others will see the same emptiness and fill it with their own thoughts…
So, finally should you watch this movie? Well that depends on a question what kind of person you are. If you are interested in the hunt, and not somewhat morally squeamish you should definitely check it out, but on the other hand if you do not like almost historical portrayal of events style movies, you will find the movie incoherent and ultimately boring. The choice is yours.
As for me, I’ve of course seen it, and it was a pleasant information gathering mission, without any problems, plus the ending is much like a video game(COD,BF…) so thats a major plus 🙂
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Reda Kateb, Jason Clarke
Fun Facts: The movie was originally about the unsuccessful decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden. The screenplay was completely re-written after bin Laden was killed.