Kathryn Bigelow has always been on the rough end when it comes to touchy subjects, Zero Dark Thirty is no exception to this. The story tells of Maya (Jessica Chastain) a special agent, who straight out of school is thrown in at the deep end, helping to get intelligence to track down Osama Bin Laden in the das shortly after 911. Initially judged against by some because of her sex, Maya attempts to justify herself as a woman in “a man’s world”, by becoming one of the frostiest, and most committed workers in the team, despite the losses that occur along the way.
Many of these sort of movies often get muddied down with too much dialogue, and long moments of bland scenario’s that seem almost placed in their to increase the running time. At a little over 150 minutes, Zero Dark Thirty does not fall into these trappings, ten years of story telling is condensed into the running time, basically giving about 12.5 minutes of running time per year. The pace is fairly exacting, as each momentous point in the battle between the United Forces and al-Qaeda, right up to the assassination of Bin Laden is covered.
Bigalow obviously with the aid of writer Mark Boal makes to compelling moves in the film, like placing the most emotional point (short of the death of Bin Laden) of the movie at the mid-section of the film, this provides a sort of rollercoaster effect to take the viewer through the final point.
Zero Dark Thirty is not a movie that gets dull, and when it reaches the points that it could be we are thrown a new character played by an interesting performer. Most people at the screening I attended were surprised at the arrival of John Barrowman into the film, his casting seemed so out of contrast with the movie, it compels you further. If there is one and only criticism it’s the slow unfolding of the final scenes, everything seems too slow to have been effective enough to have captured the worlds most wanted man.
Zero Dark Thirty is in UK cinemas now.