Zero Dark Thirty

“Wowza. Lots of movies to catch up on this weekend. Doubles yesterday and today. Didn’t have the blog time in between that I expected. Let’s do this.

Zero Dark Thirty. The follow up from the team that brought you the Academy Award winning Hurt Locker a couple years ago. While Locker came in under the radar and snuck up on people as they realized it’s awesome, Zero has been rolling out with much fanfare and anticipation as it makes its way down the red carpet to this year’s Oscar season. Having seen this yesterday, yes it’s really really good. But I think some of that attention its garnering is left over glow from it’s predecessor.

This movie is about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. It was originally supposta be about the frustration in the seemingly futile search, until he was found and thus the screenplay was quickly reworked. Finding out when he died is one of those big “”I remember where I was”” moments for my generation. Although in my case, I mostly remember cause I have an amusing antecdote (don’t I always). I was at a Thirty Seconds to Mars concert. I checked my email between the opener and the headline and saw a thread going thru my old dorm list about it. Not long afterwards, other people in the mosh pit started hearing about it and word spread. But that’s not what made it stick in my mind. Mars sometimes likes to have theme night shows and this one was 80s night. So I was sufficiently 80s-ed out with the teased hair, legwarmers and Def Leppard Union Jack shirt. After the show, I was walking down Comm Ave to get back home. The streets were filled with carfuls of people honking, hooting, and hollering about Bin Laden’s death. Some guys in a car pull up next to me and screaming “”Hey we got Bin Laden!”” I gave my usual why-is-this-strange-person-talking-to-me look. Noticing the shirt, he mistook the reasoning behind said expression and added “”Oh you’re British. You don’t care”” and then drove off.

Right then, Zero Dark Thirty. For me, this movie was all about Jessica Chastain as CIA operative Maya, taking control of the giant manhunt, even when most of her constituents had given up. She’s the current frontrunner in the Oscar race, and I can absolutely see why. What got me was some moments where she was a total pitbull. Right up in somebody’s face demanding her way and not backing down until she got it. At other times we saw a complete opposite as she was vulnerable and alone and desperate. The whole story was incredible interesting, but seeing it through her eyes is what made it truly powerful.

Because we were so invested in her, the switch to the actual infiltration operation was a lil abrupt. To me, it would have made more sense to see it from Maya’s POV in the command center. Watching it from the soldier’s perspective felt disjointed. I absolutely get why it was done that way. It was something that would be incredible satisfying for an American audience to watch in detail, it just felt kinda forced in. That still doesn’t take away from the impact of the film. I still think it was incredible. However, for the Oscar race, I think I’m still team Argo.

Zero Dark Thirty – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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