Zero... Dark... Dirty

Maya monitors a situation from her cubby.
Maya monitors a situation from her cubby.

Zero Dark Thirty (15)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow.

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joe Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle and Chris Pratt.

Running time: 2hrs 37mins.

TO GET the best out of Zero Dark Thirty there are key issues you have to address.

Firstly, it is best if you believe, without any doubt, that Osama bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 atrocities.

Then you have to believe that he deserved to be murdered — because that was what happened.

Added to that you have to agree that it was right to ignore international law in the execution of that murder.

If you’re okay with all that and the casual use of torture as a legitimate means of gaining information, then you may just enjoy the hoorah which is Kathryn Bigelow’s celebration of bin Laden’s execution.

I, as you may have guessed, am not.

What the Americans did that night was kill the suspect in a crime, while breaching international law by secretly entering a sovereign country without the permission of its government.

There are no extenuating circumstances offered — presumably none was needed if you believe that might is right.

Everything is done casually as part of a working day, including all of the above.

At no time does anyone say: “Hang on, don’t you think we should make this guy stand trial?”

Or: “Should we ask the Pakistan government if it’s okay to deploy in their country?”

Admittedly, they had been searching for bin Laden for over a decade.

But that doesn’t reinforce his guilt or mean that the rule of law can be breached.

Bigelow, no doubt for reasons of time or disinterest, doesn’t explore if this type of action is why America is so hated outside its own borders.

This film has been heralded as a true depiction of one woman’s search for the terrorist with the film team gaining unprecedented access to all manner of secret information not available to the public.

So, we can assume that either the questions weren’t asked or they were not deemed interesting enough for the film.

Given the subject matter, I was never going to like this film.

That said, the acting was good and Jessica Chastain looks suitably concentrated on attaining her goal.

Rating: 2/5