Quickly developed intense film about a long and eventually finished mission to track Bin Laden.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton
Budget: 40 million | Box office: 100 million
It was strange and surprising to see how quickly Kathryn Bigelow developed and released her new film, dedicated for the long and exhausting operation of tracking number 1 enemy. After success with Hurt Locker in 2008, where she became the first woman to get a directors’ prize and her movie a bit sadly became the lowest grossing Oscar winner, Bigelow moved on with a really interesting concept, taking place in the dangerous triple border in South America. But then out of nowhere, just after one and a half year after Bin Laden’s mission, her different movie appeared in the theaters.
First, without reading any information about Zero Dark Thirty, it seemed that this was an ordered movie, part of Obama’s reelection campaign or something in such government promotion style. But soon it was obvious that the case is totally opposite, and the reason for the rush, probably, was that it was created without any government consent. And that’s why it became so wildly talked about topic, granting Bigelow a Time magazine cover and in general such publicity of which Hurt Locker could never dream of.
I won’t go to exact details what caused this huge controversy, there’s just too much different information and opposing opinions to read. But I can’t talk about the movie as a totally isolated experience also, because just before watching it I saw a officially produced documentary about this mission (Bin Laden: Shoot to Kill, there’s a full version in YouTube), at least the last part of it, which was actually quite well re-enacted. Even if it took some drama and intention away from Zero Dark Thirty, there was more time to pay attention to other features.
The main one not only for me, but judging from the awards season for many others, was Jessica Chastain. She was in a very interesting and challenging position taking this role. It’s usual for actors to play real persons and generally they get the biggest recognition for it, it’s also usual and probably easier to play imaginary roles. But her role was kind of a double – she played a real person, but an undisclosed one, the CIA agent who is still working undercover and whom the actress never saw. In the documentary there was no information about such agent, so it’s interesting how did it actually happen. Nevertheless, Maya’s portrait in the film is really deep and striking, you can grasp what emotions a person has go to through working with a single goal for ten years, constantly failing to reach it, loosing the closest people because of it. And eventually reaching it… The final scene is especially sincere and it makes worth the time spent watching these intense and debatable episodes.