Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty - My Review

Zero Dark Thirty  -  2012  -  Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Everyone has their own memories of 9/11. In the beginning of the mesmerizing "Zero Dark Thirty," director Bigelow shows us a black screen while we listen to the sounds of that fateful day. It reminds the viewer why we went down this path while simultaneously it aims to deflect some of the impact of the torture scenes the audience will soon be seeing.

As the movie opens, we are introduced to what many of us believe is the old way of thinking. Men do what they do best and inflict violence in order to gain intelligence. Maya (Jessica Chastain) is present for the first interrogation and while she may be somewhat squeamish she doesn't object to this mentality but doesn't subscribe to it either.

Maya is the center point of the film and no other actress I can think of has burst onto the landscape of film which such a diverse array of films and performances as Jessica Chastain has in the last couple years. In Maya, she has crafted a steadfast woman who at every turn must stand her ground against the hierarchy of men who don't the trust the intelligence or the resolve of this woman. It is a brilliant performance that will surely win her a much deserved Oscar.

Maya is how we, the audience, view the film. Her heartbreak, her success, is the soul of the film and ultimately what gives the movie its power. So it is an interesting choice by Bigelow to basically have Maya on the sidelines for the film's final act. Bin Laden was tracked down by a woman who refused to cower to the pressure of her superiors, all men, and yet she is relegated to the task of waiting for the men to come home. It is a poor choice on Bigelow's behalf. The entire film up to this point has been seen through the eyes of Maya and this should of as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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