Maya is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees, but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
"Osama bin Laden" is frequently called "UBL" for "Usama bin Laden". There is no standard system for transliterating languages that use non-Latin alphabets, such as Arabic or Pashto, into English. Since the events of September 11, 2001, "Osama" has been the most common rendering of his first name in the American press, but "Usama" has been more common in the intelligence community. See more »
The film depicts torture, and especially waterboarding, as being essential to finding Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, and thus ultimately the whereabouts of bin Laden himself. In reality, while some of the detainees were tortured by American personnel, they gave up no accurate information about Abu Ahmed. All of the information used to identify and locate him was acquired through traditional interrogation techniques. See more »
I've seen all the reasons viewers (and some critics) dislike this film, but in my opinion it is infinitely superior to ARGO in its authenticity and dramatic quality. The final scenes, when the SEAL team, goes into Ben Laden's house, are brilliantly rendered. The idea of doing it mostly in the dark with flashes of illumination by "night vision" green is a brilliant touch, which most directors would never have attempted.
The performances by Jessica Chastain, of course, Jason Clark and Jennifer Ehle are top drawer and the torture scenes, while brutal, are necessary--because that's the way it happened. Congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal for getting it right.
I don't want to put the knock on Argo, because I found it entertaining. But it's artificiality provides a distinct contrast with Zero Dark Thirity's authenticity, and authenticity wins.
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