Thursday, November 27, 2014

Zero Dark Thirty - Movie Review

Directed by Katherine Bigelow, ZDT is about the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the hunt for Osama bin Laden until he is traced and killed. The US Intelligence, with great difficulty locates Osama (UBL) to Pakistan and with even greater difficulty, manages to capture him. In the process they kill him and some members of his family in a midnight operation in May, 2011.

The movie starts slowly. The ten years between 2001 , when the attacks on the US took place, and 2011, when Osama bin Laden was killed, lead to precious little. Mostly shown through the eyes of Maya, a female CIA operative based in Pakistan who has been tracking Osama ever since she joined the agency since high school, it shows the agency's struggles to find credible sources to find a lead to Osama. Maya makes some distant connections, but without enough proof, her efforts are not followed up. The death of her colleagues in a suicide bombing, attacks on her, the slow nature of response to their work, only steel her and she finally finds a good enough lead to Osama's whereabouts in Abbotabad, Pakistan. Once that is done its a matter of putting a probability based on the intelligence they can gather, and carrying out the midnight strike. There is almost no resistance save for a few gunshots fired in the beginning. Much of the credit for the intelligence behind this goes to Maya - all others seem to be quite happy to not do too much about it.

The film begins slowly and picks up momentum as the end approaches. Gripping stuff by the end - despite knowing what happened. Unusual way of showing the strike, in darkness, as it must have been, to heighten the experience. Apparently the Pakistan parts were shot in Chandigarh which is a pleasant surprise.

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