Posted on 1/12/13 12:17 AM
For a movie that had so much to tell, pacing has to be right and it was perfect here. Driving this epic story which the entire world has followed so closely through a single human going by a single lead may sound preposterous but may never be far from the truth as well. Another good aspect is that it gets emotional only to an extent to remind the viewer that the characters are indeed human but the entire movie is more about leads, operational details etc. I have closely followed Jessica Chastain's career from the time I have enjoyed her performance in 'The Debt' and she has never disappointed so far. Coming back from a superior directorial performance by Katheryn Bigelow in 'The Hurt Locker' she doesn't hurt her reputation here with her complex yet structured, sensitive yet brutal, emotional yet efficient handling of her movies.
Maya (Jessica Chastain) is following up leads on various terror suspects post 9/11 and is assigned with Dan (Jason Clarke). After chasing a few threads she arrives at a pattern that could potentially lead to a courier of Osama Bin Laden. Along the way there were disappointments, dead ends, loses her friends but what keeps her going is her infectious confidence and belief in her lead.
There are so many characters in this movie and one cannot go into performances in detail. But to generalize it, not one gives a bad performance. The screenplay could have been a little hastier in the first 20 minutes, but the director and writers might have done this intentionally to communicate to the viewer about the tedious process of getting information and during the later part of the movie this point is brought back to emphasize on the reason that they could not confirm the identity of Osama in his house due to the stricter detention rules and the tedious process. This might also be intentional but the background score or the lack of it did not work for me. May be the creative team might have thought this way it may look more realistic or just could not find the right theme they liked. Again the hierarchy and the working process of CIA is repeated in the most generic way and also plays the underdog card to its advantage.
One more aspect I did not expect was the amount of screen time given for the actual raid itself. Based on the trailer I assumed they might just open the door to the compound and rest is history, but they actually go through the entire process of entry and exit which was good.
Perfect pacing, attention to detail and a fantastic lead performance.