Volume 3, Number 8 - January 22, 2013

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Zero Dark Thirty-main

Zero Dark Thirty Pulls No Punches Documenting The Hunt For Bin Laden

Zero Dark Thirty, documents the Osama Bin Laden manhunt after 9/11.

Director Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, Hurt Locker) compresses a decade of historic military work leading up to the Navy Seal raid on May 2 2011.

“I think the film pulls no punches,” said actor Edgar Ramirez (Domino, Carlos) in a roundtable interview at The Soho Beach house. Ramirez plays Larry, a CIA operative in Pakistan, assisting Maya—played by Jessica Chastain, a rumored Hollywood romance of Ramirez’s—who is the agent responsible for finding Osama’s trusted courier and eventually his fortified Pakistani compound.

Ramirez explains the research as complicated since most of the intelligence is classified. After a few disclosure contracts and a parceled script among the actors, Ramirez only had limited time with the whole script before shooting.

Maya and the rest of the CIA are determined on hunting down Bin Laden. As time goes on, Al Qaeda is hell-bent on jihad and as more attacks take place the administration’s confidence in overseas CIA operations dwindles.

Torture or “enhanced interrogation” is arguably the  most controversial element of the film. Ramirez explains that everyone is a victim in this story. “You don’t know who is more is broken, the guy who is being tortured or the guy who is torturing,” Ramirez said while explaining how both characters are trapped and condemned to each other.

The film tiptoes around politics and slows pace when the Obama administration rids the CIA of interrogation tactics for the sake of some moral righteousness. Things get worse when Maya finds the Abbottabad compound. Solely the administration stands in the way of the raid as Maya and CIA push to avoid another missed attempt to neutralize Bin Laden.

Zero Dark Thirty wastes no time with a love interest or some overseas army wife worried to death about her man. Maya’s struggle to find Osama is never interrupted by whatever her personal life may be and she makes sure to be a bad-ass smart-mouthed girl not confusing
anyone as the petite red-head. Her performance overshadows even James Gandolfini’s small role as CIA director Leon Panetta’s wig.

The Seals are bad-asses as they should be, no hesitant flaky soldiers allowed when you hunt big-game. Bigelow knew exactly what she was doing with this film, A straight forward and purely pro-military film with almost every point of view surrounding the Middle Eastern wars.

Zero Dark Thirty—Rated R—Written by Mark Boal—Directed by Kathryn Bigelow—Starring Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt—157 minutes

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