Zero Dark Thirty

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Zero Dark Thirty (M) (Contains violence & offensive language) 

Starring: Jessica Chastain (The Help), Joel Edgerton (Warrior), Chris Pratt (Moneyball) 

Kathryn Bigelow’s astounding new film opens with the horrific sounds of 9/11 played over a black screen and it ends with the death of Osama bin Laden; it’s subject is the journey from start to finish. 

Reuniting with The Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal, Bigelow has crafted a riveting, gripping film that shows us the long, frustrating pursuit of Bin Laden through the eyes of CIA agent Maya (Jessica Chastain). 

Boal’s construction of this decade-long hunt is episodic, aiding the audience in understanding the ups and downs of counter-intelligence post 9/11. What Bigelow then brings to the cutting room is her own brand of Oscar-Winning story-telling that gives the intermittent script a real fluidity. Bigelow’s success lies in making every scene as important as the last, keeping every moment gripping and our attention hungry for more. 

Jessica Chastain really steals the show here, as a female in a male-dominated field, the role of Maya is reminiscent of Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. Much like Jodie Foster’s Starling, Maya has all the grunt and intensity any male lead could provide but with a slight injection of fear added in, Maya becomes a heroine who’s not so distant from our reality. 

Zero Dark Thirty builds on all the greatness of The Hurt Locker. It’s a look inside the world of the military from a different viewpoint than the usual, filtered eye of the media. Bigelow shows Hollywood once again that she can direct as well as anyone else and do it in her own style, inspiring Chastain into the performance of the year.

Zero Dark Thirty deserves every nomination it has and would be my choice of Best Film at the Oscar’s this month.

Highly Recommended – 5/5 

Christopher Clement-Walker