Maksim's Review of Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty(2013)
Zero Dark Thirty is a mesmerizing take on one of the biggest manhunts of recent history and one of those movies which have a tag "an Oscar Winner" written all over it. Suspenseful, intriguing and impeccably detailed, this is a remarkable thriller in which no American flags and heroism are waived, while the controversial characteristics of The War on Terror are shown in a light which may not be in line with the taste of many.
It is very hard to describe all the positives of Kathryn Bigelow's movie, but probably the biggest achievements are the story, its content, the questions it asks and the answers it provides. First of all, the fact that for 150 minutes the audience is glued to its seats, in spite of the well-known end, is a true achievement. The story-development is slow, with attention to every small detail and yet, nobody would feel bored even for a second. Every element of this years-long hunt of Bin Laden is shown in a sequence of events which demands the complete attention of the audience.
The is definitely not an action-packed movie and those expecting a delivery similar to Black Hawk Down or Act of Valor would most probably be disappointed. Bigelow's second war-movie is a down-to-earth (yet grandeur, in terms of film-making)story of why did it take so long to capture the number one enemy of the United States. No controversial moments are spared as the "inhuman" CIA interrogation methods are taking a significant part of the movie and here is where Bigelow's bravery is.
In the second part of the movie, while already under the Obama administration, several bold, but painfully true conclusions (and I assume inconvenient for so many human rights organizations)are made. Jason Clarke and his CIA colleagues' comment on obtaining intelligence from detainees is a painful but realistic punch in the audience's face. In a war, being a stronger catholic than the Pope himself is all but effective as there is no war without dirt, blood and tortures.
Another Oscar-worthy part of Zero Dark Thirty is Jessica Chastain's performance. It is very hard to say whether it is Chastain making the performance of her life, or Bigelow finding the right approach to her main character, but there is no doubt that Chastain's performance as Maya is more than terrific! Behind her fragile figure and delicate face, there is an incredibly strong person whose determination and will are driving her to reaching her goal. Positive nods should also be given to Jason Clarke as Dan who transforms from a torturing monster into a CIA-desk official with quite a success.
Zero Dark Thirty is definitely among the best movies of 2012. It is not as good as The Hurt Locker when it comes to suspense and simplicity and most probably it would not score as good as The Hurt Locker in terms of Oscar Awards, but it is surely already a contemporary classic. A must see !