January 13, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

I really like Jennifer Lawrence, and has always rooted for her to win the Best Actress award in the Academy Awards this year. I'm just a huge supporter and I wanted her to get this one since she was only nominated last time. However, watching Zero Dark Thirty made me think I wouldn't be disappointed to see Jessica Chastain win the award either. I was fond of her in The Help, but her performance in the movie really just placed her in another level. She's the one who people are thinking will take home the prize, and if she does, I'd be satisfied as well. Although I'm still not counting out Lawrence cause she definitely has a huge chance to win it too. I just wanted to say that before I started writing about the movie.

The movie had a very controversial background, theme, and plot. It's about the capture and death of one of the world's leading enemies. I guess that in itself would really stir some attention and curiosity. It had a dramatic scenery as a background, a horrific event to start the ball rolling: the 9/11 attacks. People all over the world became aware of the tragic incident and it's one of the most shocking events in history. This was the starting point of the movie, the pursuit of the United States of America to capture take revenge, I guess, to the people who attacked their country. Also, to prevent future attacks not only theirs, but in other countries as well. It was a movie about trying to keep the world a safer place in a way. Of course we can't count out personal vengeance in the process.

What I liked about the film was the honesty. I can't say for certain that its been completely, 100 percent accurate. Nobody can except for the select few who actually got involved in the mission. However, I did enjoy the idea that the film acknowledged some flaws of the US military, including the depiction of how much torturing happened during the time of their hunt. I guess I interpreted it as the movie reflecting that they too were involved in inhumane acts, which they can argue was forced by circumstances. Whatever their rationalization might have been, they laid it out there for people to see that they took up some measures not very morally upright. That acknowledgement, I thought, was genuine. Aside from that, I thought, and still hope, that the movie stayed true to the actual events as much as possible.

I also liked the sequencing of events. How one thing leads to another, and how another thing triggers another. I liked how Bigelow directed the entire thing; well almost. Aside from a couple of scenes I didn't think were as important as the others, I thought the directing of the entire movie was absolutely impeccable. It was clean, it was clear and it was easy to follow the story and feel the emotions. There's a vibe that signaled the viewers where we were exactly. It's dramatic, a bit humorous, and very, very passionate.

I really liked the passion it had. The passion oozing out of all the characters, the anger and determination to even just locate the whereabouts of the enemy. It was real. Special mention to Jessica Chastain for that scene with his boss. I won't give too much details, but that scene was very powerful, I thought. It made sure the audience members would feel every, joy, pride, frustration, and loss. It had a great mix of distinct performances that I really enjoyed. Not only that, I also liked how mildly intense the final search was. The canaries on the target's land, literally just several feet from the leader of the group. The scenes of how they searched house were just contrasting. On one side you got soldiers shooting the people inside the house, but at the same time, trying to calm the children down. That contrasting images show the conflict of what it must have been like for the soldiers to be placed in that situation.

Bigelow sure had an amazing cast to work with. I've praised Jessica Chastain's performance throughout this post, but it is also worth mentioning a few more people. Jennifer Ehle, Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, and Mark Strong. All these people had great performances. Jennifer Ehle's story line was even a driving force for Jessica Chastain's character to locate and kill the target. Jason Clarke as Chastian's partner really provided support and substance to the initial progress of the hunt. Chris Pratt and Taylor Kinney, although only shown in the last part of the movie, still stood out as Navy SEALSs. It was rewarding to see passioante, powerful performances from all these actors who made sure that the audience would enjoy a quality film.

People are starting to bet that Zero Dark Thirty would win Best Picture and Best Director. Personally, I don't want to get involved in that mix too much since all the movies nominated that I've seen have been all impressive. Ayone could take it home. Although I would say that I'm still rooting for Affleck for his work in Argo. Coincidentally people have been comparing Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. Both were incredible and we should all celebrate the fact that we are all lucky to enjoy such films.

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