Zero Dark Thirty

The biggest man-hunt in history, presented as a journalistic account on screen, has a history of its own. The Director, Kathryn Bigelow, who also produced the film with the writer Mark Boal, was working on a film which showed the failed attempt to capture Bin Laden. Once his capture was announced, they changed course and were left with 2 years of research which ultimately led them to write this script.

The story has a lot of information, which may or may not appear classified to the regular viewer. While Jessica Chastain, who plays Maya, the tenacious defender of this lost cause of an operation, is shown as the sole driver for this operation, it seems that the process of elimination and eventual location of OBL involved a lot more people. But just like we need a devil, to antagonise, we need a hero. She has done a brilliant job; no doubt, she won the Golden Globe for it as well.

The strength of the film lies in showing what actually went on behind the closed doors of CIA in countries where they were trying to find information. It wasn’t an easy task to convince the team that this mission should be pursued, by a lone woman nonetheless, and politics was invisibly weaved in, to give the right flavour.

While the film is filled with controversial details, which may or may not be artistic liberty, they work to move the story along. The catch is, is it entertaining? It is riveting, yes. The story spans many years of seemingly dead-end work, which is rewarded in the end. As the film closes, do we feel entertained, or informed? I would choose the latter, as I take home some brilliant moments and scenes. As a film which walked the tight-rope between fact and fiction, it left me with a version of the story I could believe, but choose not to.

3.5/5

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