Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Zero Dark Thirty" with Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke (2012)

This is a gripping account of the 10 year hunt for Osama Bin Laden which ended in Pakistan. All of the tedium and stress involved in hunting down the mastermind of 9/11 comes through in this film. The tension is high and the stakes astronomical as the hunt goes forward, first by water boarding and torture, until each link in the chain has been unmasked, leading to Bin Laden himself.

As a matter of fact, after all of the tension involved in a decade of locating him, it is almost anti-climactic when he is discovered and killed. The myriad of secret retention facilities located around the world for use by our CIA is staggering. The amount of money spent in fighting both the war in Iraq and later in Afghanistan is simply mind boggling.

But more than any one thing which stands out in this film is the toll the hunt for Bin Laden took upon us, his enemies, both societally and emotionally. We were forced to face ourselves as well as the enemy, and we became almost as vicious and ruthless in our pursuit of this one man. It reeks of Ahab and Moby Dick, where the question is always whether good triumphs over evil, or simply becomes a victim itself.

If you have not seen this film it will astound you. Based upon true accounts the story highlights one woman’s belief in herself and the intelligence she was analyzing in the effort to find Bin Laden. Faced with the doubt of her senior analysts at the CIA’s Langley headquarters, she pushes on, losing something of herself in the hunt to bring down the world’s most wanted man. A must see film for many reasons.

Fantastic performances by Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke; along with tight direction and swift camera shifts; it is no wonder that this film garnered 5 Academy Award Nominations. It is simply that good. 

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