Sunday, 6 January 2013

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Zero Dark Thirty,2012, USA
Director: Katheryn Bigelow
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton & James Gandolfini
Ammar: Please help me.
Maya: You can help yourself by being truthful.

The day Osama Bin Laden died, one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind was 'when will the film be released ?' just a little under two years later came that day, and who better to helm the film than Kathryn Bigelow, who reached immense success with 'The Hurt Locker' back in 2009. I honestly did not intend on seeing 'Zero Dark Thirty' so soon as I expected to get nothing out of it, fortunately I was wrong as this film gave me a swift kick in the face and one of the best experiences of 2012.

After the tragic and inhumane event of September 11th 2001, the CIA begins a munhunt for the man responsible, al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. A young CIA agent named Maya is one of the most dedicated to the cause.

To be quite honest, I fully expected 'Zero Dark Thirty' to be an overly patriotic mess that was filled with plenty of propaganda, and for the first half an hour of this film I thought I was correct, but then the film took me in its grip and never let go. I am one of the few that disliked Bigelow's 'The Hurt Locker' and hated the fact received so many undeserved Oscars, so I really did not care to watch any more of her work. I am so glad I saw 'Zero Dark Thirty' though, this film is a completely rewarding experience about the pursuit for justice.

The first half an hour of this film really did not entice me though, It was a little clustered and I was quite unsure as to what Bigelow and Screenwriter Mark Boal were aiming for, but then they really found their stride and have created what will be an endearing piece of work. I will be the first to admit that, despite my dislike of the first part of this film, I do believe that Bigelow has given one of the best directorial efforts of the year. It isn't really Oscar worthy but it does deserve a nomination, Its a hard thing to create suspense when the audience is already aware of a situations outcome, but Bigelow achieves it as the last 30 minutes of this film are some of the most exciting I've seen on film all year. Boal's screenplay is good to, and is informative as well as enthralling.

Some may enter this film expecting action and full throttle suspense, but the film only features one of these aspects. The film is incredibly suspenseful, but it creates this suspense using dialogue, which is always my favorite kind of suspense. There are some beautifully executed action sequences as well though, as the climax at Bin Laden's compound is just great.

This film has gained a substantial amount of controversy for being 'pro-torture', I am not really sure how to respond to that. There are a couple of mild torture sequences towards the beginning of the film and they are conducted by the American's, but I wouldn't say that the film endorses acts of torture for the greater good. It may not portray them as being right, but it does portray them as being effective.

I only really heard of Jessica Chastain for the first time in 2011, when she was in 'The Tree of Life', I have seen her in a few films since and more often than not, she has stolen the show. But I wouldn't say that Chastain steals the show here, because she IS the show. What a performance! absolutely incredible! without a shadow of a doubt Jessica Chastain is one of the finest working actresses today and this is her crowning achievement. Such a brave and courageous performance, she brings so much believability and toughness to this role and gives a tour de force performance. If she does not receive an Oscar for this then I have lost all faith in the Academy. The supporting is also great, featuring the likes of Joel Edgerton, James Gandolfini, Kyle Chandler, Mark Duplass and Mark Strong, everyone is great here but it is really the Jessica Chastain.

'Zero Dark Thirty' really is an incredible film experience. Bigelow and Boal have collaborated to create an incredible piece of work that completely eclipses 'The Hurt Locker' (For me, that wasn't hard'). Jessica Chastain gives a performance that has been ranked as one of the very best of the year. The incredible manhunt for Osama Bin Laden has been brought to the screen, and like the real life situation, it has been done justice. One of the best films of 2012


No comments:

Post a Comment