Zero Dark Thirty is the latest from director Kathryn Bigelow. It is a timely military drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden by the Seal Team 6. She collaborates with her Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal for this project.
Bigelow and Boal had to rewrite the whole final act that changed their movie but they stuck with basic facts of the mission. This made Zero Dark Thirty a two and a half hour chronicle of American persistence that is a must see cinematic experience.
Zero Dark Thirty makes you feel thankful for the military intelligence and men who managed to infiltrate the cover surrounding Osama bid Laden. It is a good thing that Bigelow was in charge of telling this story instead of the likes of Michael Bay who would have filled it with explosions and a romantic subplot. Boal knows that actual facts speak louder than explosions.
Zero Dark Thirty is not a documentary style movie. It is driven by the main character Maya, played by Jessica Chastain. She is am intelligence operative who starts with her assignment in 2003 and ends it in 2011.
Bigelow is given the task of covering a lot of subject matters in Zero Dark Thirty. Her style complements that of Boal’s investigative reporter manner of story development. It is a Hollywood adaptation of CIA report that features false leads, prisoner interrogation, and hours of surveillance videos.
Boal provides not just the facts. He knows how Bigelow likes her scenarios and he creates sequences that build up the tension all throughout the movie. Zero Dark Thirty is an entertaining movie for a broad audience. It shows the evil of terrorism and the pressures of the men and women tasked to stop the root face.
The raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound takes place in real time. The movie progresses as an operating procedure instead of an action movie. There are no established characters and no other storyline except for the assignment that the men must do. Zero Dark Thirty is a good American thriller.