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Zero Dark Thirty deserving comment (spoilers)

Glued for over 2 and a half hours. Felt equally like strong fiction and a historic story. Dan  (Jason Clarke – he of of  “The Chicago Code” ) plays a high level CIA agent at the crux of the most controversial scenes where torture is ” routinely” carried out. The concerns of the waiting world are somewhat wasted for me…there is depiction of the famous “waterboarding” acts (always seemed a light word to me for something obviously so cruel – like snowboarding!)- is it glorifying ? No – is it the central theme ? No – does it prove to be the clue to OBL whereabouts? Maybe. But surely these type of events happened – seems right to show it – in spite or because of political angles. The reporting in 2007 that the CIA did carry out  this technique in early 2000 is widely documented. Surely its fare game for the filmmakers?

It was apparent to me there were two stories for the price of one. The first is of a young CIA agent , Maya’s (Jessica Chastain of  the recent “Lawless” and “The Debt’) obsession with finding OBL. Her character was similar to “Homelands ” Carrie – without the cutsie love angle – this broad is seriously focussed – 10 years of focus. After her early introduction and repugnation to torture under  Dan she has no qualms to re acquire the skills when she needs further information from captives in latter years.

IMG_0601 Does Maya exist in whole or in many? There is a rumour she is based on an actual individual – if she is half as dedicated as the screen persona – she needs a medal – or a political position!

There is a huge cast list with cameos by James Gandolfini and even John Barrowman. The story is well told – and describes the frustrations and blind alleys brilliantly.

The second  part of the film centres around the discovery / the politics and the SEALS  raid.

I loved the duelling of the Chiefs when they were deciding to go or not to go – the head of NSA  states this was riskier than when the CIA boss’ predecessor told them to go for the WMD’s in Iraq. Loved that line.How cool are the”fictional stealth H60s? Do they really exist? Though for me when they arrived at the compound in Abbotabad … They were a lot noisier than I felt “stealth” was meant to be ( radar eluding aside)

The helo action was boys own stuff is in the style of  “Act of Valour 2012 “- loads of military tech – heart bursting door entries and 2 x short sharp shots to the head.

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OBL’s death was treated with a certain degree of taste – heard today Columbia Pictures aren’t releasing it in Pakistan (for the mo?)

The director Kathryn Bigelow is obviously out of the running for  a directorial Oscar (solace is she did get one for “The Hurt Locker” ) due to the controversy of the torture- but does some amazing work on this film in giving us a contemporary action movie – and a political thriller all rolled into a a tense, detailed cinematic dream that you end up wondering what was real and what was the storytelling?

You want to watch it ? Course …I knew the ending and loved it anyways.

 

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