Once again, Director Kathryn Bigelow has brought us an extremely intense movie watching experience.
Zero Dark Thirty is a film based on the CIA's real life, sometimes moment-by-moment hunt from Osama Bin Laden. The intensity is turned up to ten right from the opening scene showing us a dark screen with 911 call soundbites from the victims of the World Trade Center towers.
Jessica Chastain plays Maya, a CIA newbie who develops something of a bloodlust for capturing Bin Laden. The story begins with some explicit and controversial scenes depicting the torture off suspects with the intent of getting information to capture terrorists.
That information leads to a lengthy investiation by Maya, who believes she's found the main courrier of Bin Laden, with hopes it will lead her to the leader of al-Qaida. The final act of the film details the elite team of American soldiers who raid a compound in Abbotabad, Afghanistan believing its where Bin Laden is hiding out. They are methodical, exacting and deadly.
The true test of the movie, is that we know how it all ends. Still, the development to get there kept my eyes solidly glued to the screen. Surely a film like this makes you reflect your own thoughts about the treatment of our fellow human beings, patrtoisim, bloodlust and whether ends justify the means. That's what great film should do, and this is a great film.
It was also refreshing to see that this thriller of a story is based on the strength and tenacity of a strong female lead.