Well I watched the sixth film out of the list of nine contenders for Best Picture last night. Zero Dark Thirty was one of the movies up for the big prize that I wanted to see and I shall now give my appraisal of it. Make of this what you will.
Synopsis: The story of the hunt for Osama Lin Laden based on true accounts from the people who were actually involved between September 11th 2001 until his death in May 2011.
Main Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Stephen Dillane
The Hype: A lot of controversy surrounding this one regarding how much information the film makers have actually been given by the US Government. We have a previous Best Picture winning director here in Kathryn Bigelow and there is quite a bit of buzz around this film. As regards its success though, Zero Dark Thirty hasn’t been a hit at the box office.
What I Thought: What a dull movie. I’m sorry, but this was really dragged out to fill a huge 2 hours 30 minutes that it just didn’t need to. The plot is simple, the twin towers came down and they go look for Bin Laden. Along the way there is some torture of prisoners (of course without the full knowledge of the government….yeah right!) and small snippets of information are eventually gathered together by Maya played by Jessica Chastain, and it finally reveals the location of a stronghold in Pakistan where they believe Bin Laden is living. Cue Navy Seal Team 6.
The film played out like an extended edition of Homeland (which I no longer watch owing to Claire Danes incessant snivelling) and I fail to see what the big deal about this film among critics is. Yes it’s nicely shot, reasonably well-directed, and I suppose the Americans will like this much better because of the back story, but it is nowhere as good as The Hurt Locker, that at least had some things happening throughout. I just found Zero Dark Thirty a dull plod along paced film and the hype about it just isn’t warranted in my opinion.
Conclusions: Dull, one paced, Jessica Chastain is about as convincing as a CIA interrogator as my grannie would be and I think it has only got on the list Best Picture list to pad it out. Bigelow needs to move away from the war thing now, it’s getting very tired. This didn’t entertain me.