Nº 10 – Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

(Kathryn Bigelow)

And for the last day of the 10 Days of Oscar we have what at one time was one of the top runners when it came to critics and predictions to win the major prize, but when reality settled in, everyone was raving for two completely different features and this recent war film was done in the ground and biting the dust. But, was it really the ‘forgotten great picture’ that everyone was talking about, or just a lot of buzz with nothing inside when you finally take a closer look at it? Well, neither (I like giving two complete opposite views on a film and then say that I just stay in the middle between them), I do think that it’s a good film, one that it’s perfectly made in its framing, narrative, cinematography and the way that it goes around, but at the same time it reminded me a lot of ‘The Hurt Locker’ (2008) in its structure, and while this was much more linear, I think that I prefer the awe and tension that was every single scene of the earlier Bigelow feature, while I do think that this movie drags quite a bit in its length, specially when you are thinking about the project that this film was: a project on the futility of the search of Osama Bin Laden, and it turned it out to be… well, something completely different. Let it be clear, I’m writing this from my own personal/political experience, and if it doesn’t aply to yours, well you can always hit me in the head at the comments section. Having said that, we can move forward with the plot of the film.

The film follows Maya, played by Jessica Chastain (nominated for best actress) is a special agent of the CIA that has been in charge of a certain area, compromised to locate and destroy Osama Bin Laden, and we start the film in the best way possible: torture, we are watching how a man from Afghanistan is being drowned so he can speak, obviously this doesn’t work and they make up a scheme for it to work, they pretend that he did give out the information they needed (unconcious) and he is being congratulated by it, so he is keen to collaborate more on the issue, specially since he believes that he already did so, and so it starts a series of followings and missions that are trying to find the precise place of Osama. How important and impressive is this film, that it mixes up the events of the investigation, the tribulations and troubles that Maya has to face between her gender and her wanting to find Bin Laden, and the multiple terrorist attacks towards CIA members and bases that happen in the length of the film, and I must say those parts of emotion and pain regarding the companions that died are the best in the film. Now, at one moment of the film (that is completely visible as seems to be added with paste and staplers) a snitch comes up, someone seems to know the real place of living of the hidden Bin Laden, and then happens what we all know happened.

Remember, I do think that it’s a good film, but it’s no masterpiece because I think there’s one fatal flaw regarding the ending of the film: it mixes up the messages given up until that point of the film, here we are awarded for our patience with the death scene and raid of Bin Laden, with a full theatrical and operatic coreography accompanying the whole action, shot in a night vision kinda shoot, and bringing up the editing and the tension to the top of its game, but here the whole moment and scene seems to be… not morally good and in tone as the rest of the film, I think this would’ve been a masterpiece if the ending wasn’t changed at the last moment when they knew what happened with Osama and his death, it would’ve been a portrait of people who chase a dream that was futile, and yet… here we have at the end a movie that rewards those moments of frustration with a winning scenario… let me be clear, I’m not a fan of downer endings, but if you are hinting towards something along those lines in your whole movie and then change it to be AMERICA, FUCK YES, WE DID IT!… then you have a problem with your fucking movie, it goes away and looses its strength, the direction fails because you directed it towards a goal and then you betray your own ‘direction’, if you get what I’m saying. This film won’t win any Oscars in any of the categories that was nominated at, and I think I might be OK with that.

8/10

And so, the 10 Days of Oscar have passed, as always here is the list of the 10 reviewed movies in order of preference, with links to the reviews:

1. Django Unchained (2012, Quentin Tarantino)

2. Amour (2012, Michael Haneke)

3. Life of Pi (2012, Ang Lee)

4. Argo (2012, Ben Affleck)

5. Skyfall (2012, Sam Mendes)

6. Lincoln (2012, Steven Spielberg)

7. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012, Benh Zeitlin)

8. Zero Dark Thirty (2012, Kathryn Bigelow)

9. Silver Linings Playbook (2012, David O. Russell)

10. Les Misérables (2012, Tom Hooper)

Here you go, enjoy the ceremony today and have fun! Thanks for reading this particular 10 Days of Crazy.

Bonus for those who check this site regularly, every movie nominated for an Oscar rated:

1. Django Unchained
2. Amour
3. The Master
4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
5. Moonrise Kingdom
6. Life of Pi
7. The Avengers
8. Argo
9. Skyfall
10. Lincoln
11. No
12. Prometheus
13. Beasts of the Southern Wild
14. The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare
15. Zero Dark Thirty
16. Hitchcock
17. Silver Linings Playbook
18. Les Misérables

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