There are two women sitting in a dining room at the Islamabad Marriot Hotel in Pakistan. Maya, a CIA officer, is discussing with her co-worker about information that may prove to be useful as she desperately seeks the location of a man by the name of Abu Ahmed, a courier of Osama bin Laden himself. In an instant, things take a deadly turn as a bomb is denoated near a secruity checkpoint that knocks half of the hotel into pieces. Maya and her friend are the first to get up from the blast and make a run for it. After watching the two endure this particular scene, you realize just how high the stakes are in this incredible, decade long manhunt.
Maya, played by the phenomenal Jessica Chastain, is a woman determined to see the fall of Osama bin Laden. Viewers are introduced to her character during a very tense interrogation scene that involves a detainee of the CIA. She stands in a corner as the man, Ammar, is tortured for intelligence on any working members that are affiliated with bin Laden. This is one of many interrogations that eventually leads Maya to the conlcusion that Abu Ahmed is the key to finding out where Osama bin Laden is hiding. The long journey ahead to find Abu Ahmed only causes grief, and in the government’s eyes, “money wasted”. Seeing a stressed Jessica Chastain yelling at her boss, played by Kyle Chandler, goes to show how dreadful all of this work is to her. She wants to see justice for all the pain caused to innocent people, while protecting her homeland. The writing in this film is impeccable and it strings you along to an amazing end.
Zero Dark Thirty is beautifully crafted by Kathryn Bigelow, and she may have created her finest work yet. This movie will be more than satisfying to those who are most anxious to see the death of the world’s most dangerous terrorist, Osama bin Laden. ZDT will no doubt spark controversy among some people over the very-necessary torture scenes, but without these scenes, the movie would not be as strong as it should be. It’s obvious that Jessica Chastain carries this movie because of all the emoition she pours into her screen time. She feels as if the world is against her, and this allows viewers to connect with her character during her fearless push to see her mission through. Zero Dark Thirty may not be the best movie of all time, but it certainly is the best movie of 2012.
Grade Rating: A