Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

What does it take for humanity to be liberated and gain true peace when we are all drenched in the genetic stain of violence and war?

Zero Dark Thirty

Universal Pictures in association with Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures present…

We live in a world where societies are in a brink of collapse, a running subliminal in our minds that makes life more perplexed, confounded to an impeccable time to despair and rot in this mundane world we live in. While the disdain for these inequities has been an endless loop that will never be without repercussions. It is just ironic how people live with so much diversified personal interests which are integrated to one’s being and culture bounded, more so torn by both territorial security and self-preservation!

Academy Award Winner Director Kathryn Bigelow (K-9: The Widowmaker) brings another historical drama since her 2009 film “The Hurt Locker” which not only gave her the Best Picture awards but also cementing a first time groundbreaking achievement for a woman to receive the coveted trophy! Her fetish for true stories with war as its main selling point has made more impact with the movie public but on the contrary they were being criticized as well for the inaccuracies of its content and storytelling, worse part was the sensitive themes of torture and the conspiracy theories involved. This was all explained and justified by the Director and Producers stating that it is a film that needs to have these crucial elements that make it relative on the subject at hand.

Speaking of which, the story was written and co-produced by Mark Boal (In the Valley of Elah) who again collaborated with the Director to bring at least the “truth” and “significance” of this massive manhunt perceived by most Americans and people around from different countries to be self-defeating in both context and intention. While big shot co-Producer Megan Ellison (Lawless) daughter of billionaire Larry Ellison who is only the CEO of Oracle Corporation has been delving into projects that were no pushovers as well such from her work in 2010’s widely award nominated “True Grit” and last year’s Oscar’s and BAFTA’s contender “The Master”.

The up and rising talent is all around the business and she never settles for anything less! Jessica Chastain (The Help) provides another provocative portrayal of a young CIA Officer who eats, breathes and live her job determined to track down the perpetrators for the sporadic attacks on American soil. She plays Maya the main protagonist of the film, as we see her being involved and personally questioning a number of detained individuals to gain information and a lead in capturing one of the most wanted men in history, Osama Bin Laden! Maya, as her character signifies on how she made it on a personal level both as a human being and as a citizen; even further when her colleague and dear friend CIA Officer Jessica played by Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice) was killed together with her team in the bombing of Camp Chapman in Afghanistan. I can even relate her to Clair Dane’s equally strong character Carrie Matheson in the Golden Globe Winner TV Series “Homeland”.

Fan favourite Mark Strong (Syriana) as George a high ranking CIA Official from Washington D.C. returns to the big screen and for once in a blue moon he works for the good guys (just patronizing) but as he entered the room he chucked his coat then blows his top to each operative demanding to do their jobs while giving out history lessons. On the other hand, Jason Clarke (Public Enemies) who recently worked with Jessica in the film “Lawless” plays chief interrogator Dan stationed in Pakistan with Maya but was transferred due to re-assignment since he was previously receiving orders from Kyle Chandler (Super 8) as CIA’s Station Chief in Pakistan Joseph Bradley who in the latter part of the film suggests that they don’t have surveillance operations when they have been mandated to act intensively; was it not definitive enough?

With a superior supporting casts, it was a handful starting with the easy to please CIA Director from the talent of James Gandolfini (The Last Castle) from the hit TV series “The Sopranos”, the quite hesitant at first but works like a horse Edgar Ramirez (Bourne Supremacy) portrays Larry of the Special Activities Division at least after a slow start in the industry he finally got a good part in a noteworthy film. While cowboys Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Chris Pratt (Wanted) finish off the film with a bang (pun intended) as the extraction team from the US Navy SEALs.

The film was commendable at some points having the casts portray characters so precariously driven and at the same time determined to their cause in tracking every single asset in Al-Qaeda a global Islamist organisation founded in August 1988 that has worked incessantly to bring down the United States of America, their allies and for their given support to Israel which they believed have killed their people and its essence as a free community. Another aspect is how the story was relayed in terms of incidents for the past 10 years that brought out the actual intentions of both sides of the party and that certain information given to the film’s Director and Producers was denied by the Republicans. Significant of which is the turnover of the Bush Administration to the Obama Administration with the responsibility to the American people that the Government will ensure their security against threats that are foreign and domestic!

It was transitory at best seeing how they were able to execute the plot just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that zeroes in the last piece. Coming from a slow start of random detainees and arrests, it became more transparent in terms of on-going developments brought in by tense encounters while guided by screen captions that at least help in the progress and pacing of the story’s premise. Yet, I feel ambivalent since it feels that all of these operations seem like a facade with a larger clandestine, a set of charades that masks how incontestable evidences point clearly to the birth of terrorism as a whole and what real intentions does the United States Government has to do on how they agitated the Jihad and Muslim community.

I have considered the thought on why this hatred like a disease spreads like wildfire into the hearts of many. It is like being imposing is just an overstatement, stampeding men with condescension and ambiguity, leaving them without honour and dignity. While it should be through compassion and with humility, through the means of finding out, learning how a person can be someone who is more than what he could achieve and what he aspires for not just for himself but for others as well.

Overall, I find the film obligatory since I’m not after the way they presented the story per se but rather on the truth which can never be considered on what it stands for; it will always evade its seeker. People will hear, see, embrace things as long as they are given in the perfect moment of yearning, emotional standpoint and belief! This is what happened in the 9/11 attacks where thousands of people perished as 2 commercial airlines were rammed at the north and south towers of the World Trade Center Complex. Another one was used to blow up the Pentagon and lastly, a fourth plane was intended to destroy The Capitol when its hijackers were overpowered by the passengers and force it to crash land on a field in Pennsylvania.

People say that without war there can be no peace, my question now is, is war only the alternative solution? We may have our own answers as we view it but this may draw the line in our disparity and until these differences are settled, we are doomed in our actions and in its consequences. We believe the tears do not end from here, let’s hope it’s not too late…


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