Sunday, February 10, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

The assassination of the world’s most wanted terrorist which made the headlines in 2011 is the core plot of this movie. The 10 year long worldwide hunt and the execution of this highly secret operation are shown within a span of 2 hours. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow who has an impressive Hurt Locker under her sleeve, Zero Dark Thirty is a mixed bag of the events that led up to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
It starts with the chaos surrounded by helpless voices of the victims of 9/11.Two years later; one of the planners is being tortured and interrogated at an undisclosed location. Jessica Chastain plays the role of Maya, a CIA agent who is there for her first interrogation and she turns out to be the key to finding out the location of Laden. Not much is known about her background yet she is central to the whole operation.
Jason Clarke is impressive as Dan, another CIA agent who specializes in torture to get vital information out of the detainees. His job is not the easiest but most of the time he comes across like he handles it without much of an effort. Be it torturing a suspect or making a deal with an informant with serious possible repercussions. He eventually quits after what he has seen and done during his fight against terrorism.
George: "It's their West Point."
C.I.A. Director: "And how close is it to the house?"
George: "About a mile."
Maya: "Four thousand, two hundred, twenty one feet; it's closer to eight-tenths of a mile."
C.I.A. Director: "Who are you?"
Maya: "I'm the motherfucker that found this place. Sir."
 Maya’s dedication towards her goal to find Bin Laden kept me engaged throughout the movie. Be it lack of support from her superiors or personal setbacks in terms of losing people, her determination to track the whereabouts of Laden is astounding. This movie shows the different stages and routes which the characters take find their target.
Zero Dark Thirty is cold and it doesn't show much emotion considering that the topic is based on a high profile terrorist’s assassination. It mainly sticks to the behind the scenes operation part of tracking down Bin Laden. There is a chance that the torture sessions shown might be a bit too much for some. Consider it this way; that is what must have happened in order to extract information to build up the cues. Personally, I could have done with more of the local interaction in terms of showing more of Pakistan and how the agents communicated with the locals to get any kind of information. At the end part, director Bigelow has done every bit of justice to what the world has heard about the way the final operation to break into Bin Laden’s hideout was carried out. The entire scene of his capture is very well shot and shows how the operation was executed right from the beginning.

This is what defeat looks like, bro. Your jihad is over.

Zero Dark Thirty is hollow and it lacks the emotional touch. However, it makes me think that might be the whole point of it as it deals with such kind of a subject. A lot has been written and said about this whole operation with many theories generating as a result and to put all of it into perspective is not an easy task. It is a well-made movie which is supported by some good performances by the main characters. There could have been a lot more to it but again if you consider the lack of facts surrounding this saga; it’s perhaps the best that can be shown in a form of a movie.
For those who don't believe in Maya, here's proof that the woman (in the confidential documents referred to only as Jen) really existed.

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