|Zero Dark Thirty
Release Date: January 11, 2013
|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.|
So this is my first book break featuring a movie. There’s a reason for that. I don’t watch them. I watched 16 last year. I keep track. Anyway, I normally go for comedies and the like – Pitch Perfect was my favorite movie last year – but I had to see this one. If you saw my post about Nashville, you’ll know that I love Kyle Chandler and he is in this movie, therefore I had to see this movie. Something this intense and dark, isn’t normally my cup of tea but I went for it.
There are a lot of torture scenes in the beginning, mostly because the movie starts following the hunt for bin Laden in 2003, and it’s still allowed at that time. I had a really difficult time with this for various reasons – I’m borderline pacifist – but I was also grateful because there was very little blood. In my opinion, Game of Thrones is more gruesome than this was. This was more of a psychological torture for both the viewer and the character. That’s pretty much how the movie begins – after 911 calls from the September 11th attacks, mind you – so I’m in a delicate mind-set as is. Then we get into the meat of the story – Maya, the CIA agent stationed in Pakistan that the movie follows, gets a lead that she thinks will lead to bin Laden. We follow her over 8 years as she follows up on that one lead and eventually finds and kills bin Laden.
There are questions about what’s accurate and what’s not but I think that it’s not necessarily about the nitty-gritty with this movie. It’s more about the overall feeling that you get. At least, that’s how I felt. As an American History major, I was interested to see how this story was portrayed. While they did make Maya a heroine, they also did a good job of portraying the outlook of Americans in general throughout the entirety of ‘The War on Terror.’ I don’t know much about the inner workings of the CIA, FBI or any other alphabetic federal agency but it’s interesting to see how they try to juggle what they think are the biggest threats are at the time. It was really interesting – very much worth the Golden Globe and Oscar buzz that it’s getting – but it was almost 3 hours long sooooo…I got kind of bored after a while. The acting was superb, however, and Jessica Chastain is worthy of all the awards – I’m not even a fan of hers either. I wish Kyle Chandler had a bigger role so he could be eligible for something but he doesn’t. He’s aces in the scenes he’s in though. Jason Clarke and Chris Pratt also steal a couple scenes. It’s definitely worth seeing but be prepared.