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Zero Dark Thirty  : Mark It 100%
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Friday, February 15, 2013
Kathryn Bigelow
Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, Édgar Ramírez, Scott Adkins
Shedding light on what seemed to be a wild goose chase to get Osama Bin Laden but was ultimately a triumphant mission accomplished, there’s also feminine power on show here that has to overcome prejudice and politics to pull it off.   

The Plot: Highly recommended CIA operative Maya (Jessica Chastain) earns her place on the Bin Laden hunt. From starting off as an officer who averts her eyes at the sight of detainees being interrogated with violence to becoming someone who herself resorts to it on realizing that the Al Qaeda men won’t open their mouths otherwise, Maya sets out on a long journey to free her homeland from further terror threat. Following her instincts and the leads she finds, Maya has to look past veiled chauvinism to convince the bureaucracy that it is indeed Bin Laden that they’ve got in their sights. It’s Maya alone who believes that they’ve zeroed in on Osama but there’s sweet victory when her efforts pay off.

The good: Jessica Chastain is brilliant as the dedicated CIA operative. Her feminine side accurately balances her daring nature to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men even as she fights red tape. The rest of the cast including Jennifer Ehle as Jessica, Jason Clarke as Dan along with the other CIA operatives and Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton who are part of the Navy SEAL Team are equally impactful in making the events look very real. Mark Boal has written the movie with fine accuracy, probably sifting through tons of events to pick up the required and exclude the unnecessary. Greig Fraser has captured the whole operation with visual beauty. Alexandre Desplat, as always, gives music that complements the happenings on-screen.

The performances and the technicalities blend together marvelously, making you feel all the emotions. They reach out and touch you, you go down a decade of events, you feel your heart pounding and it is a hold-your-breath countdown till Bin Laden is finally killed.

Incredibly, the length (2 hours 37 minutes) of Kathryn’s masterpiece won’t bog you down at all.

The bad: There is really hardly anything wrong out here. Maybe a bit more focus on the chase and search for Obama would’ve been welcome. And in the finale, although in reality Osama got a burial at sea, Kathryn skips that fact.

Overall: A brilliantly crafted piece on a historic event, it has a perfect mix of history and emotions, a delicate balance between entertainment and information. How can you miss this experience?

-Priyanka Ketkar
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