Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

Originally Posted: 11 February 2013

IMDB: 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Roger Ebert: 3/4 stars

Staring: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, James Gandolfini
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow
Written By: Mark Boal

Release Date: 11 January 2012
Described by IMDB as: "Maya is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees, but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is."

I'm really not a fan of movies that are very pro-american propaganda, but I really didn't mind this one. This was actually one of the most intense movies I've seen in a very long time, more specifically the last half hour or so  when they actually get to the compound where Osama Bin Ladin was. I think the fact that you know he dies at the end is even more intense then if you didn't because you're just waiting for that moment when they find and kill him. 

Its been a few weeks since I saw the film so I'm sure there are quite a few things I'm going to have forgotten about it, but I will try my best. I think that there is a pretty good chance of Jessica Chastain winning the Oscar this year for Best Actress in a Leading Role. I mean, Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic in Silver Linings Playbook and, she might have some competition in Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of a Southern Wild because everyone  likes to give awards to childrenbut I think that Chastain has a definite shot. All of the acting in this film was fantastic. I really didn't know who most of the actors in this film, but they were great. The emotions from the prisoners were fantastic. You really got the feeling that they were being tortured.

The conflict that comes with enjoying this film is the torture. There has been a lot of uproar about it all over the media, and I think the reasons are valid. I think that this movie definitely portrays torture, especially water-boarding and sleep depravation. I think the fact that they changed some stuff, or maybe have even gotten some party completely wrong is a big problem for people. For most films based on true events it doesn't matter, but since the Iraq war is still going on, this brings up a pretty big issue for most people. Especially with all of the debates over drone strikes these days, it all links together as a pretty big moral debate. I totally agree with all of this, especially since at one point they are clearly angered by the fact that Obama has put a ban on torture, leaving them with less options in how to obtain information. However, the information that helps them find the messenger wasn't really torture, it was then giving him food and letting him outside. Granted, that wouldn't have worked if they hadn't been torturing him for months, but still.

I think the cinematography and directing were also fantastic in this film. Although most of it was pretty grim-looking, it was still beautifully shot. The whole sequence with them flying into the camp where Osama Bin Ladin is hiding was beautiful and you really felt the suspense  but not as much as when they actually got in there. It wasn't just that you were waiting to see where Bin Ladinwas, it was also how they were filming it. It was dark so you couldn't see much. I think the way they chose to show him when they had shot him was smart, they showed used bits and pieces of his face at a time, never really showing the injury, but showing enough of his face for anyone who'd seen a picture of him before to know it was him. I thought it was smart, because I'm sure this film is causing enough rage within the Taliban as it is, they definitely would have lost it if they had shown the deformed-mutilated head of their former leader. My opinion was the same for when Obama didn't release pictures of his dead body when they got him in real life. I know he was a bad dude, but they would just be horribly disrespectful to people who cared about him. No one should have to see their loved one in that way, even if they are a terrorist.

 I honestly don't know how much of this film was true, or elaborated, or just fully made up so I can't really comment on the political accuracy of this film, but I can say that as a film on its own I thought it was fantastic. As I said before it was one of the most intense and heart-pounding films I've ever seen. Its hard to look past inaccuracies, I know, but if you don't know every detail of the Iraq war, or the details of the Seal Team 6 mission, you should perfectly enjoy this film. Unless you just don't appreciate good films, I surprisingly do know people like this. One person told me once that she didn't Precious because "there wasn't enough story."

I'm going to give this film a 8.3/10. Super good, I'd definitely see it again. I'd even buy it on Blu Ray(and we all know how expensive that can be.)

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