Zero Dark Thirty - Slightly boring with a climax we have all been waiting for
Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty has created some ripples throughout America. The media have chosen to ignore the well crafted scenes and nit-pick at the pros and cons of the reality portrayed in the movie. Whether the events in this movie are true (apparently they are) or not, the story is a fine show case of film-making following the Hurt Locker in 2008.
Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a CIA operative who is at the centre of the prolific search fro Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Post 9/11, US detainees are using interrogation tactics to locate the where- abouts of the bearded terrorist. One such detainee is Dan (Jason Clarke); a determined individual who uses tactics such as water-boarding (a way of drowning the captive using a cloth and bucket).
With a view from the sidelines, Maya fails to see any light at the end of the tunnel regarding the military's tactics. Rather than capturing known associates, Maya believes in taking a softer approach, tracking the movements of Al Qaeda associates, using them as informants, articulating a more approchable tactic to finding Bin Laden.
Maya struggles in evaluating her steady approach to Joseph (Kyle Chandler), who is reluctant to involve her at the centre of a media storm which he considers is best handled by US forces.
Zero Dark Thirty is another provocative and controversial approach from Kathryn Bigelow, consistently portrayed as another brave creation in film-making. Jessica Chastain leads the way in what is a broad cast on paper, but credential actors such James Gandolfini, Joel Edgerton and Mark Strong make nothing short of a cameo appearance - although Mark showcases a fine "nibble" of authority acting.
The overall plot is mundane, with some interesting scenes and some that are simply pointless. The movie is reflecting deep and important issues in the world today, but I felt it failed to maintain my interest all the way to the point when the Navy Seal team get information which suggests they may have identified Bin Laden's hideaway. Bigelow captures the dramatic operation - the capturing of the terrorist - so remarkably realistic that the climax of the movie leaves a satisfying taste in the mouth of those who have been biting their nails for the previous half hour!
Kathryn Bigelow's latest offering in a career marked by controversy, results in a movie that lacks any real stand-out performance. Zero Dark is a movie that is already talked about as a film worthy of Oscar recognition but in my opinion, the standard of the plot was smothered by the hype and build up that one can not help to be slightly disappointed. It lacks any chance of winning an Oscar this year.
Overall: Zero Dark is entertaining in small quantities. While some of the dialogue may seem drawn out at times, the frenetic, yet exciting ending might be enough to satisfy the average cinema-goer.