Today I present for your consideration an amazing movie recently released on DVD: Zero Dark Thirty (2012, Rated R).
A CIA operative named Maya (Jessica Chastain) reluctantly observes the torture of prisoners who might have information about the location of Osama bin Laden. She works doggedly to figure out where the terrorist is, and finally gets a break. Although she is the only person who is 100 percent certain that bin Laden is not holed up in a cave, but is living in a compound, Navy SEALS enter the compound, and depart with the body of bin Laden.
This movie is a bit long at 157 minutes. As Maya's work dragged on, I felt sleepy a couple of times. I felt disgusted and sickened by the torture scenes. But then the tension builds and the big sequence arrives: The SEALS enter the compound. I don't think I've ever felt more strongly affected by a sequence in a movie. At times the viewer sees the film as if looking through the night vision goggles the SEALS are wearing. We get as close as possible to being there.
Even though I knew the outcome of the raid, I was terrified. It was so intense. I bit my lower lip; I picked at a ragged cuticle; I squirmed in my chair, and not because I needed to pee; and, finally, when the man was dead, I cried with relief and gratitude. I felt so proud of our armed forces.
This movie is definitely worth watching in spite of the moments when sleepiness might descend; however, I recommend that you wait a minimum of three or four months before seeing it. Zero Dark Thirty has a couple of sudden explosions that had me gasping in astonishment and fear. It's too soon after the explosions at the Boston Marathon to watch this movie. Furthermore, it is not for children.
Some of you might not want to watch it because it's too realistic, and it brings war into your living room. The torture is horrifying.
Although I loved Argo and felt that it deserved its Best Picture Academy Award after I saw it, I now think the Best Picture award should have gone to Zero Dark Thirty, with Kathryn Bigelow winning her second Best Director Academy Award (she won previously for The Hurt Locker, which won the Best Picture Award). Zero Dark Thirty moved me and surprised me in a way Argo did not. It's extremely well made.
I think Zero Dark Thirty did not win Best Picture because of the controversies surrounding it. Although numerous high-level administration officials have stated that no worthwhile information came about from the torture of prisoners, the film appears to condone torture. One critic called Bigelow "torture's handmaiden."
Additionally, some officials and members of the military felt that Bigelow was given too much classified information for her use in the making of the film. An investigation concluded that this was not the case, but there are those who remain angry about it.
I, however, judge the film as a film, and not as a historical document. Because of the way it's made and the way it made me feel, I say this was the best film of the year.
Zero Dark Thirty has The Janie Junebug Highest Seal of Approval.
One little note of trivia: The Seals are portrayed as taking a German Shepherd on the raid with them. In reality, the dog was a Malinois. My Harper is a smooth Collie/Malinois, and he is such a conniving bastard that I would definitely want a Malinois on my side in any kind of mission.
|Oh, I know he looks so sweet and gentle here, but Harper is a brilliant escape artist.|
Infinities of love,