Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writers: Mark Boal
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jason Clarke, Joseph Bradley, Reda Kateb

I actually saw Zero Dark Thirty a month ago, but it stuck with me, and I really want to say a few things about it. This is the second big movie out in the last few months based on true events (the first was Argo), and this one also managed to take a story where I knew the outcome, and still keep me interested. It was positively riveting–and that’s hard when you know the Titanic is going to sink . . . .

I really appreciated the restraint shown by the filmmakers in showing the slow information gathering process, rather than making the events more Hollywood-like and exciting. I got a real sense of travel, too–that Maya was covering a lot of ground to track things down. In fact, watching Maya’s hesitation at the start of the film when she learns how things work in the real world to her development as a trained interrogator willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done is a tour de force by Jessica Chastain. She has incredible range.

Jason Clarke also does a fine job, and Red Kateb is just amazing as a prisoner that we follow as he beginning with his capture–watching him as he’s slowly broken, and Maya’s reactions as it happens. The torture sequences–well, they are what they are. What they aren’t is particularly graphic. They just imply things we’d rather not think about, especially in the context of our country as the “Good Guys.”

There are some awesome visuals in the film–I particularly like Maya using the glass in her boss’s office as a bulletin board when she’s annoyed.

All-in-all, this is one amazing film.

One thing did bother me–Maya is always nibbling on something, when she isn’t eating an actual meal. She must have an amazing metabolism.

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