Zero Dark Thirty (15)

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Zero Dark Thirty
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Reviewer LornaHughes
01/04/2013
I saw this movie with an ex-Army friend who had served two stints in Afghanistan and had told me he 'really, really wanted to see this movie but also really didn't'. So I was a little nervous.

But I was impressed - with everything. And more importantly so was my friend. As I winced at the interrogation scenes and questioned how realistic they were, he calmly explained that those scenes were the more believable in the movie. As I gasped in shock when one of the main characters was killed off out of the blue, he nodded in approval 'that happened to another unit I used to eat dinner with' he muttered. It was an eye opening trip to the cinema but the movie didn't disappoint.

Jessica Chastain has been a favourite of mine for a long time now. Ever since I saw a small movie she did called Joleyne. The movie wasn't groundbreaking but Chastain was quite clearly a class above. In Zero Dark Thirty, she carries a movie on her shoulders for the first time and she nails it.

She goes from slightly naive newcomer walking into a military base, to hardened Saudi Group expert, to damaged war veteran, and finally a lost, broken person who poignantly makes it clear that she's given her entire life to finding and killing Bin Ladan, when she achieves it - what does she have and what will she do now? Chastain is utterly brilliant and, no matter what the awards say, this is the female performance of 2012.

Yes this film is tough to watch but it's an important movie. Not because it's 'gung-ho, aren't-we-awesome' American - but because that's exactly what it's not. At no point do we have to watch the American flag fluttering in the wind. Kathryn Bigalow does her best to avoid that and make this a movie about how the allies (US/UK and many other nations) helped to find and eliminate a key terrorist cell.

It's one hell of a true story and I for one am thankful it fell to Bigalow and Chastain to deliver it on screen.
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