Got to see Zero Dark Thirty today, which is still in limited release in my town. The theater is showing it every 50 minutes on one of its smaller screens, and today it was pretty well attended.
Yeah, it’s great. I’ll admit that during the first 20 minutes before the caffeine kicked in, I was a little drowsy and not keeping all the acronyms straight. The main character, Maya, was so timid that I wondered when she and this movie would grab me by the throat. Would it be all of a sudden, like Hurt Locker? No. Shrouded in Kathryn Bigelow’s moody atmosphere of foreboding, this movie required patience, perseverance, hope, belief–just like the agency expert needs to get the bad guy. We see Maya grow and mature in her role, figuratively and– Jesus, it took 10 years to get that UBL–literally.
2 years ago, I dismissed Chastain along with the movie the Help when I turned it off about halfway through. But today, I didn’t even realize she was the heroine until after the movie ended. There were moments in the movie when I thought someone in that position might be tougher than Maya seemed. But real-life heroic women don’t kick their leather-clad legs in the air to bring down villains. They’re smart. They believe in themselves. This was brought to light when Maya has to justify the operation to one of the Navy Seals–his gigantic muscles practically bursting the seems his fatigues. It’s one of many times when she has to defend herself to one of the guys either above or below her. Her confidence, intelligence and chutzpah meet the energy of this soldier.
Like in the third act of Thelma and Louse, Maya eventually dons the accoutrements of the men whose macho have seeped necessarily into her attitude. All swagger and aviator shades, she mingles with the hulking tactical heros that would ultimately pull off this historic operation. When she finally gets the call that it’s go, a shadow of somber reality falls over her face. But we can be assured–as if we didn’t know how this story ends, one of the guys lands a lucky horseshoe around the stake, and another intercepts a football from nailing his buddy’s face. It bodes well.