So this week after it’s flurry of award nominations it was time for me to go and see Zero Dark Thirty, the film from The Hurt Locker’s director, Kathryn Bigelow about how Bin Laden got shot. The Hurt Locker was a superb war movie that grips and enthralls the viewer more than any other modern-day war movie has ever done, could the same be said for Zero Dark Thirty’s dark portrayal of a government manhunt in the Middle East?
The film kicks off on 9/11 with voice recordings from the horrific events of that day and really tells the story from then on. We meet our protagonist Maya (Jessica Chastain) early on as she’s witnessing a colleague torture a man who has info on Al Queada. At first you may be mistaken to take Maya for a soft lady who’s slightly out of her depth it is seen quickly that this is not the case. When she is first left with the captive he tries get her to help him and she snaps back with, ‘Help yourself by telling the truth.’ Throughout the film she’s not portrayed as a soft touch in any way, she is in fact the driving force behind everything throwing her weight around and overpowering some of the highest government authorities in the process, she’s a true woman on a mission and Chastain has got her pitch perfect.
In many ways Maya’s character paves the whole shape of the movie, sharp, efficient, to-the-point and brutal. Nothing here is glamourised, nor even patriotic. The killing of Bin Laden was something that had to be done and someone had to do it. There’s no fluffing about the edges Bigelow gives it to us straight up and in doing so makes one of the most gripping films I’ve ever seen. The story itself is so filmic it doesn’t need anything done to it and Bigelow has the expertise to craft these events in the most realistic way possible. The final scene is one of the tensest things I’ve ever sat through and everyone know what’s going to happen! Zero Dark Thirty may even improve upon The Hurt Locker and further proves Bigelow to be the most masterful director when it comes to modern war movies, this is absolutely fantastic go see it while it’s still on in the cinema.