Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Film Review: "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012).




The tagline of the film reads "The greatest manhunt in history", which is what you should brace yourselves for in Zero Dark Thirty. This historical drama film directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Billed as "the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man", the film is a dramatization of the chronicle of the decade-long United States man-hunt for Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda terrorist group, after the September 2001 attacks. And how he was found and killed at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.

Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 am local time by Navy S.E.A.L.s of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as 'DEVGRU' or 'S.E.A.L. Team Six'). The operation, code-named 'Operation Neptune Spear', was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-led operation. In addition to 'DEVGRU', participating units included the U.S. Army Special Operations Command's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and C.I.A. operatives. The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was launched from Afghanistan. After the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden's body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death. Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing. Other Pakistani militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, also vowed retaliation against the U.S. and against Pakistan for not preventing the operation. Bin Laden's killing was generally favorably received by U.S. public opinion; was welcomed by the United Nations, N.A.T.O., the European Union, and a large number of governments; but was condemned by some, including Fidel Castro of Cuba and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamasadministration of the Gaza Strip. Legal and ethical aspects of the killing, such as his not being taken alive despite being unarmed, were questioned by others, including Amnesty International. Also controversial was the decision to not release any photographic or DNA evidence of bin Laden's death to the public.

It stars Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, and Édgar Ramírez. All the performance were all brilliantly portrayed by the cast. But the one actor - whose performance - stood out the most and drove the film entirely was Jessica Chastain. Her performance is not built on complex speeches but on a visceral projection of who this woman is and what she feels. She is not a hero in a conventional sense. Her single-minded ferocity and stubbornness not only prove essential in the hunt, but also make up the emotional through line that engages us in the story.

A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of modern battle of good and evil. It is a great film, an intelligent film, a film shot clearly so that we know exactly who everybody is and where they are and what they're doing and why.

Simon says Zero Dark Thirty receives:


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