THE IMPACT OF MOVIES BASED ON TRUE STORIES
Quite frankly, I don’t have access (or the clearance level) to know if the events of Zero Dark Thirty are 100% accurate or not. Like Argo, I was simply aware of the broad strokes. In this case, I’ll always remember where I was the day President Barack Obama stood in front of a camera and said:
For months after that day, we learned about the heroic team who infiltrated that compound and the intelligence that led to it’s discovery. Zero Dark Thirty offers a glimpse at the dedication of Maya, an agent tasked with finding Osama Bin Laden. After being recruited in High School, Maya (Jessica Chastain) thinks of nothing else. Every lead is important. Every detail must be dissected and analyzed. Every suspect hunted down and questioned. Her relentless pursuit is the driving force behind Zero Dark Thirty’s brilliant and tense narrative.
WE ALREADY KNOW HOW THE STORY ENDS
Katherine Bigelow did a phenomenal job directing a movie that avoids the pit fall of famous true stories. How do you create tension when everyone in the world was watching the day he was killed? The director succeeds by drawing you into a 10 year journey filled with disappointment and failure. It’s Maya’s passion that keeps things moving until the armed forces take over for the film’s awesome finale.
During the final moments of the movie, I kept thinking about 9/11 and the desperate search for Bin Laden. The worlds most wanted man. What it must have felt like to finally have solid evidence of his whereabouts. The sleepless nights and the crippling anticipation in the days leading up to that mission must have been unbearable. Is he actually there? Have we finally found him?
These are the essential themes that keep you focused as the movie digs deeper into the search. Zero Dark Thirty was fascinating.
I loved The Hurt Locker because of it’s uncompromising look at dedication and bravery on the battlefield. Here Katherine Bigelow shows us the commitment of an intelligence agent focused on finding the one man that no one else can find. I’ll probably never know who the real ‘Maya’ was or if the movie truly tells the whole story. That doesn’t change the fact that Zero Dark Thirty is, hands down, one of the finest films of 2012.
The Title | Katherine Bigelow has explained that Zero Dark Thirty “is a military term for 30 minutes after midnight, and it refers also to the darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade-long mission.” (Wikipedia)