Thoughts: Marr Gaya Osama, Jeet Gayi Amrika

The Mark Boal & Kathryn Bigelow team is back. They have made another movie about Americans, fighting terrorist/bombers/killers and other people doing many dastardly acts against Americans and on their soil no less and they have not only managed to make a movie that the people like, they have managed to make a movie the critics as well as the government both like. *slow clap beings*

That thin line between pissing off Big Brother and winning an Oscar is in Zero Dark Thirty. ZD30 proves that Hurt Locker wasn’t a fluke and now, I’m waiting for the next time the Americans do something bordering on the ethical only so that Ms. Bigelow and Mr. Boal can showcase it in such a matter of fact manner that makes you think “Eh…it wasn’t THEIR fault” 🙂

The story (and shame on you if you still don’t know what it is about, read a book!!) revolves around our lead protagonist Maya (played by the beautiful Jessica Chastain who thoroughly deserved her second nomination in a row; the first being for her role in The Help) who is a CIA operative and her first experience on the job is to see a prisoner (Al Qaeda) captured and detained by the US in an undisclosed location. The prisoner is captured, since it’s believed he knew about the attack against the US on September 11 2001 and he knows information that could help them catch the mastermind behind it. He though, is a tough nut to crack; enter the (amazing/horrific) waterboarding. Maya watches Dan (Jason Clarke who really does a good job in his small but influential role) and reluctantly goes along with it since she too believes that to get the right information you need to push the right buttons.

The tactics work, through waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other methods Maya finds the information she needs and starts her single handed pursuit to find Osama Bin Laden!! Finally, in 2011, her “innate ability as a woman to not let go of things” (Seth Macfarlane’s words people not mine!) pays off and she finally pin points where the world’s most elusive head stays. Will the government listen to her? Won’t they? Will they get their man? Won’t they? (Yawn….yes yes I know it’s not interesting because the end of the story made headlines around the world). Either way it’s still an edge of the seat thriller!

ZD30 is the Mission Kashmir/Border for us but once you sit and watch both movies (and yes I know I’ll get flak for this) the movie-making ability between Indian and foreign directors is highlighted and you can see the stark difference. Don’t get me wrong, the movie has an interesting plot (How was OBL caught and killed), Mission Kashmir/Border also have great plots, but the telling of a story without going over the top so that the audience remains enthralled and gripped to the edge of their seat is an art. The ability to showcase something as mundane and as boring as a women sitting behind a desk and interrogating suspects can’t be too exciting but, how well has it been shown over the 157 minutes is one of the major reasons to see the movie.

Now of course there are sub-plots to it, conspiracy theorists will consider this (much like they classified Hurt Locker) as a propaganda movie. They would call it a lie and a blatant advertisement from the government to showcase the government cares for the people….to all those….Go To Hell! The movie is brilliant, it’s a well-made beautifully created and crafted and showcases a director at the height of her craft.

The best part in the movie is most definitely the Navy Seal Team 6 operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The actual team which shot and killed OBL and how they entire operation was done at “Zero Dark Thirty” (That is thirty minutes past midnight, it was the time when Seal Team 6 left and yes that is where the name of the movie came from). The entire action sequence is so professionally shot that you honestly could mistake it for actual footage.

Also an interesting part to note is that there are no actual “actors” or “lead” in the movie (apart from Maya). The movie is criticized for a lack of character development, but if they do see it that way, they are really missing the point of this movie. This is not a typical movie which has a protagonist who has their story and character developed until the conflict is resolved; the movie has been made with no attempt to connect with the viewer or any human sentiment. There is no character development, no relation development and no back story to the people, in short there is no attempt to give any person a ‘feel’ in this movie. Maya is the only member of the cast who is the lead and even she doesn’t have a back story.  She was recruited in High School for the CIA and yet there is no delving further than that. (I mean doesn’t it boggle your mind to think – why and how do you hire a kid from high school to the CIA?) Maya remains emotionless throughout the movie as do the other characters and THIS is the best part. For it is due to this kind of emotionless tone that ensures a person stays focused on the story and not the people.

The movie is one of the better ones this year so far and I would recommend you guys to go and watch it.

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