Cath's Review of Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty(2013)
Stunningly brilliant film! How Bigelow was snubbed for an Oscar of, I just don't know. The story of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden by the CIA, led by Jessica Chastain's Maya, is a lengthy business. Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal demand you pay attention - it is complicated stuff. So often film makers assume audiences are dumb -turn off your brain and enjoy .. Well not here!
The fuss over whether the film approves of torture seems daft. It WAS used by the CIA, and as a intelligence gathering tool, it's depicted here in a straight and non-judgemental way. Critics would have preferred Maya to be disgusted I suppose, but Bigelow has always been a non-cliched director. There is no gung ho action hero here. It is a very talky film punctuated by instances of extremely realistic violence and acts of terror.
The final 30 minutes or so dealing with the raid and subsequent killing of Bin Laden is gripping and exciting. Far more so than many other action films I can think of, precisely because of Bigelows semi-documentary style of filming.
Good, non-showy performances from a large cast, but what sticks is the quality of the narrative. Brilliant film making.