MOVIE: Zero Dark Thirty

By admin
08 February 2013

The film shows what happened without glamorising the events.

Rated: 4/5  War drama With Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton Director: Kathryn Bigelow 16LV Opens 15 February

We know in May 2011 the US Navy’s SEALs found Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed him. So, why watch a movie when you know how it ends? Because the brilliant director Kathryn Bigelow takes us inside the mind of “Maya”, the undercover agent who tracked down the Al Qaeda leader. She shows how this determined woman – who doesn’t have friends or a partner – spent 10 years gathering intelligence until she found Bin Laden’s hideout.

If you plan to see this movie, be aware: the first half looks at how such intelligence is gathered, including the various torture methods used and which apparently upset the American government; how facts are separated from fiction; and how Maya dealt with unsympathetic politicians who initially didn’t want to believe her. There’s lots of suspense as the soldiers enter Bin Laden’s compound, but Bigelow doesn’t reduce the film to a sensational videogame where people are shot in slow motion in perfectly choreographed scenes.

The shooting is deadly and realistic; the action is determined and with the emphasis on getting the body back to the US as fast as possible. The film shows what happened without glamorising the events. And Jessica Chastain is outstanding as Maya.

– LEON VAN NIEROP

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