Zero Dark Thirty – Entertaining Without Being SuperHeroic

zero-dark-thirty1

I  had a lot of apprehensions about watching this movie. For one, I was afraid of super-heroics. Second, it could a little too loaded on the American vantage point, and how they’ve figured out everything too easily, and hence, a little too biased. Third,  if neither of the above, then a boring docu-drama. Fourth, making it seem too either too profound or too easy.

My point is that there are so many reasons I may not have liked the content of the movie. And with all those apprehensions, the movie was sitting comfortably on the queue, giving space to the others. (Note: The last Oscar movie pending for me is Amour after this. And I still think its between Lincoln and Argo. Though Argo may win because of overcompensation)

Last night, the biwi insisted, and I agreed to take the plunge.

The movie runs for about two and a half hours (which is long), but is not boring. It’s very well paced, except for the probably the first five ten minutes as your mind settles into the rhythm. Watching a serious movie at home is different from watching it in a theater. Home has too many distractions to offer. Including the typical neo-urban habit of checking twitter, email ad facebook updates. So, does that mean score one for ZDT? Yes.

The movie, thankfully, doesn’t do too much of either of the problems I might have had. It shows the evil side of the pursuit, as well as the personal side. The tortures, the loneliness (“do you have any friend?” moment), the contrived judgement calls, the references to Iraq WMD fiascos. It’s detailed to the extent of being a documentary, heroic enough to seem like a victory, and yet does not go too crazy. It does not glorify anything, apart from the need for the job to be done. It’s a single minded (almost entirely fact based) retelling of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and Maya’s (Jessica Chastain) focused pursuit of the most dreaded terrorist, with that one solitary important lead. The approximations make you wonder if it really happened, and whether one fine morning, we won’t again see a videotape of Osama Bin Laden. And therein, to me, is the biggest success of Katheryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s work.

Jessica Chastain starts of as an unlikely choice for being the centerpiece of this movie, but she is top grade. It’s very difficult to not come out of this movie and not root for as a top choice for best actress. The others needed to be good/adequate, and they all are. Jason Clarke is impressive though.

The ending makes you feel a little cheated, but its bound to happen in such movies. And as I mentioned, the movie is not really about heroics.

If you have time this weekend, do enjoy this one. I won’t go out on a limb supporting this for best picture like I would for Lincoln. But it’s a super fine movie. Loved it.

Where do I rate it? Probably, a 4 on 5.

 

(Image source: Boingboing.net)

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

2 Responses to Zero Dark Thirty – Entertaining Without Being SuperHeroic

  1. CMrok93 says:

    Fantastic review Amit. Gripping, thrilling, and intense, Zero Dark Thirty is another very worthy contender for the Oscar race that puts you right in the action, especially with the immersible climax.

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