Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
'Zero Dark Thirty' is more than a movie, it's an experience
Movie Review BY KELSEY WETTIG, 17, Freestyle Staff Writer
"Zero Dark Thirty" is an utterly gripping experience, not just a movie.
The intense film depicts the somber story of struggle over 10 years as our military operatives worked in secret across the globe to track down and terminate Osama bin Laden.
To set the tone, the movie begins with no images, but the chilling, dismal sounds of Sept. 11, 2001. This is just the start of a series of psychological methods used to weigh heavily on our minds and spirits throughout the 160 minutes of realization.
One of the most difficult scenes to watch was the brutal interrogation tactics used on suspected al-Qaeda agents in order to gather intelligence on bin Laden, his location and couriers. Continuous false leads and dead ends only motivate operative Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, more to put a stop to the terrorism and prove to her doubting colleagues that she won't stop until bin Laden is no more.
Though we know that bin Laden was killed in May 2011, the audience is kept in suspense throughout the entire film. This is in no way a predictable storyline, despite what we know of the actual events. We weren't there. Viewers may have seen the reports of these suicide bombings on TV, but we didn't experience it. While watching the film on the big screen, you feel as if you are witnessing these deaths and taking in that fear.
There was some controversy as research was being done for the film. It was felt that classified information was being given away, and torture was being glorified. Director Kathryn Bigelow, in a press conference, stated, "My hope is that some of those more difficult images can be replaced and/or that narrative can be amplified by another narrative, one of courage and dedication, and a kind of nod to those men and women who work in the intelligence community to try to make our lives safer."
What I left with after seeing "Zero Dark Thirty" was an ample amount of respect for all involved in such services that eliminate those threatening our country. Quite honestly, I didn't know much about what went into the process of capture of bin Laden. This movie brilliantly puts the pieces of a 10-year mission before your eyes. leaving you with only the capability to say, "Wow."
While "Zero Dark Thirty" is not a documentary, it certainly is informative. And if you are ready for an experience rather than just another movie, it is definitely a must-see.