Hunt for bin Laden, in balance

Hunt for bin Laden, in balance


Zero Dark Thirty Movie_L
Photo: Zero Dark Thirty, LLC
In 2008, Kathryn Bigelow's realistic war film The Hurt Locker - about a bomb-defusing squad in Iraq - made her the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. Known for her willingness to show the crudeness and gore of war, she is back with Zero Dark Thirty, a dramatised version of America's manhunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The film opens on Maya (Jessica Chastain), a young CIA officer, who decided to move to Pakistan to pursue bin Laden. Maya has been assigned to this duty since she joined the CIA out of high school. She is initially disturbed by the techniques used to interrogate terrorism suspects, but quickly adapts and identifies what she thinks is a prominent connection to bin Laden.

The movie, unusually, seems to balance out the good and evil of both terrorists and the CIA.

Bigelow also knows how to bring a sense of realism to war films, using awkwardly long shots of soldiers clumsily breaking into houses. They help her establish a style that has made her one of Hollywood's most respected contemporary directors.

Contains graphic images and adult content.

YP Rating: 4/5

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