Sunday, 27 January 2013
Zero Dark Thirty 
Kathryn Bigelow, who shot to fame with the Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, has followed it up with another popular topic for the American populace – the decade-long hunt for the most wanted man on earth, Osama Bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty, which refers to, in military parlance, the time at which “UBL”, as the CIA had named the Taliban kingpin, was shot down by Navy SEALs, film begins with audio footage of the 9/11 attacks. Maya (Jessica Chastain), a young CIA inductee, is thrown right into the job as she becomes witness to Dan (Jason Clarke), her immediate superior, subjecting a detainee to torture at a ‘black site’, in a re-creation of the notorious Abu Ghraib prisons. With the talented and tenacious workaholic working towards capturing Laden, Bigelow went onto to dramatize, in documentary-like realism and detail, the long, tiring and often uneventful investigation that finally led to locating him at a mini fortress at Abbottabad in Pakistan. The curt style employed in driving the narrative was engaging for its relentless focus on the investigation, and the here and now feel on account of the constant sense tenseness; yet, ironically for the same reasons, they also would keep one at an arm’s length as the viewers are hardly ever allowed into the minds of the investigators, particularly that of its obsessed protagonist. Consequently, though Chastain gave a first-rate performance of someone, for whom, succeeding at the mission at hand becomes the sole objective of her life even when interests start flagging elsewhere, and for whom ends, quite clearly, justify the means, her character, which interestingly was a fictitious one, never received a three-dimensional treatment.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Genre: Thriller/Spy Thriller/Docu-Fiction