DVD Review: Zero Dark Thirty
I’ll be honest and say that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s Hurt Locker was one of the biggest cinematic disappointments in my life, but for what ever reason, I decided to believe the general consensus of critics and take a look at their follow up, Zero Dark Thirty. I’m assuming that most of the praise lauded on the film was from American critics who were making a misguided congratulatory slap on the back for the successful ten year man hunt for Bin Laden, because what Bigelow and Boal have delivered in Zero, is a schizophrenic film at best. It’s neither a film nor a documentary. It’s Bigelow’s interpretation of the facts that she has apparently uncovered. It’s kind of the cinematic version of journalism, but with a heck of a lot of artistic freedom.
But where as the artistic freedom utilised on Ben Affleck’s Argo managed to create a film that recounted the story with a gripping narrative, Zero Dark Thirty’s take on the truth put me to sleep briefly during the first half of the film. When the final mission gets the green light in the last portion of Zero, the film actually picks up and has you hanging on every action, and there’s no Hollywood style over the top action in sight. Juts classy film-making. It’s a pity it was such a drag to get there.
But the sheer monotony of getting to pay dirt is not Zero Dark Thirty’s sole problem, it’s Bigelow’s interpretation of the facts that really leaves you scratching your head. Bigelow’s feminist desperation wants us to believe that this one woman, named Maya in the film, was the sole driving force behind the 10 year man hunt. This wonderwoman single handedly tracked down America’s most wanted, and yet despite being outed by Bigelow’s film, is not a celebrity superstar doing the talk show circuit and writing her own memoirs? It’s easier to believe the plot of del Torro’s Pacific Rim.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve no doubt based on the key character of Maya that a woman or a number of women were key players in the tracking down of one terrorist, but Jessica Chastain ether didn’t do a good job portraying Maya, or Bigelow’s artistic freedom was stretched too damn far to be believable.
Rating: M Violence and offensive language.