Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

DVD Pick: "Zero Dark Thirty"

DVD pick: "Zero Dark Thirty," Hollywood's hot potato.

DVD Pick: "Zero Dark Thirty"

 The DVD pick of the week is “Zero Dark Thirty,” a one-time best-picture front-runner that limped out of the Oscars with one statue for editing.
 Controversy hurt the hunt-for-Bin-Laden movie, which was easily the most hotly debated movie of the year. You had a well-sourced reporter saying its depiction of torture was wrong and irresponsible. You had another well-sourced reporter saying the opposite.
You had some saying the movie (produced and directed by women, starring Jessica Chastain as lead agent Maya) was thoughtfully feminist, others saying the opposite.
 The word “feminist” can be  a bit of a loaded term, but clearly the idea in one form or another was on Bigelow’s mind, and in my opinion always has been.
A couple things to watch for: I think Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal intended to open the movie with a voice of a female 9-11 victim. Note too how the director makes woman-alone, woman-in-a-man’s-world images the visual subject of “Zero.”
And note how Bigelow ends up giving equal weight in the climactic raid to the killing of the female bystander and Bin Laden -- this is the scene that, to my mind, indicates the movie views Maya's process with a more critical eye than many assume (it brings us full circle to the movie’s first "collateral" victim, the voice on the phone).
 That, and Maya’s moral and physical exhaustion at the end of the movie.

Gary Thompson Daily News Film Critic
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Gary Thompson Daily News Film Critic
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