Starring: Jessica Chastain (Lawless), Jason Clarke (Lawless), Kyle Chandler (Super 8), Jennifer Ehle (Contagion), Mark Strong (John Carter), Tusharr Mehra, James Gandolfini (Killing Them Softly), Joel Edgerton (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), Chris Pratt (TV's 'Park and Recreation'), Taylor Kinney (TV's 'Chicago Fire'), Frank Grillo (End of Watch)
The movie has been getting a lot of attention both negative (controversial information in the movie) and positive (award buzz and good reviews), which of course sparked my interest into seeing.
The movie starts at September 11th, which is where the whole thing began. There isn’t any visual clips, but instead audio clips of some of the victims that were inside the World Trade Centers.
Then the movies the storyline a year to where a man is being tortured for information by a CIA agent named Dan (Clarke). He comes out of the interrogation with the other three people that were with him and one of them is Mya (Chastain), who has been assigned to search and find Osama Bin Laden.
For the next forty five minutes or so, Dan shows Mya his tactics during interrogations (which include dry drowning, suspending, crammed into a small box with no pants, lack of food and water). She soon starts to branch off on her own and interrogate people on her own.
After a few years, she watches a news feed of President Obama who is in an interview saying that we (as Americans) don’t torture those who are being interrogated. At this point, she has to figure out a new tactic of getting information.
The clock for finding Osama Bin Laden becomes more pressing when there are attacks occurring around the world (a double-decker exploding in London, bombing in Kuwait, car bombing in Times Square, and truck bombing outside the Merriott in Pakistan). Mya is more persistent in wanting to move forward but her boss, Joseph (Chandler) is telling her to slow down.
After the explosion at the Merriot hotel, Mya’s co-worker, Jessica (Ehle), receives a video from someone inside of Bin Laden’s group. She says that he is our informant. They create a meeting but it doesn’t go according to plan.
Mya starts to feel the consequences of her action, but it does nothing to slow her down. In fact, it just spurs her on to work harder. She feels that she has to do it now because of all the things that had happened.
Another employee brings Mya a file that contains information about Abu Ahmed (Tusharr Mehra) who they had believed had died. She figures that they might have thought the wrong brother had died but the one they’ve been looking for is still alive. She tries to convince Joseph, but he declines her moving forward and she threatens him that this will hurt his career.
Sure enough, Joseph’s name shows up on the terrorists list which forces him to leave Pakistan and go back to DC.
Mya works on getting a phone number for Abu Ahmed's mother and she enlists the help of Dan (who is now in DC). He helps her out and gets the number of the mother.
They monitor the mother’s phones but the phone calls from her and Abu Ahmed are eradicate and unpredictable but they are able to figure out that the calls are at least in a radius in Pakistan. Mya convinces a group of military ops to go and search for Abu Ahmed because she believes he will lead her to Bin Laden.
After some time, they are able to locate him and slowly are able to follow him back to where Abu Ahmed lives. It’s at this time that Mya’s name shows up on the list and she is sent back to the states.
In DC, she has to convince the head of department to act on this house, (Gandolfini), without much proof. She knows that Bin Laden is there and puts pressure on George (Strong) to get it done. And after a year, he is successful.
Mya and George put a team together in Nevada and they all go over to their home base in .
On the night of the raid, they start off a little shaky, but they are able to finish the mission they were assigned to do.
Now of course this movie is intriguing just by the nature of the film. Osama Bin Laden’s death was only two years but I’m sure (just like the events on 9/11) we all know where we were when we learned of the news. Most of America was happy that justice was served, but the pacifists think that there could have been another way.
With that being said, I think that the movie does a very good job at depicting the events that lead up to and also the night that Bin Laden died.
Kathryn Bigelow was the right director for the job and I don’t think that anyone could have done a better job. She had shown her directing skills in The Hurt Locker and this movie is just as good if not better then that movie. This is one of the best directed films in 2012 and I wouldn’t be surprised if she went home with the Oscar.
In regards to the actors, I really liked Jason Clarke who played Dan. He was a hard-ass but he knew his stuff. On the surface, he seems like a demonic character the way that he tortures the 1st witness, but as the movie goes on, you see more layers to him and see that he’s just doing what he has to do to get the information needed to stop the terrorist attacks.
Jessica , who plays Mya, was very good in some scenes and a bit overdone in other scenes. It could be the writing of the character, but it just didn’t really work for me. It just felt like the character was going back and forth on the spectrum and there wasn’t really any depth to the character. I just feel like she wasn’t as developed as the character Dan was, which is sad because Mya is the main character in the film.
The supporting cast was critical to the success of this movie. The audience wants to watch the authenticity of the soldiers when they are in missions. Whether it’s the look, the lingo that they use, or the way that they act. Any little detail can set the whole thing off and ruin it. But thankfully I didn’t see a flaw and it was executed the way I pictured it would be.
Now the most chilly part of the movie was in the first three minutes of the movie. Hearing the actual audio tapes of people screaming as the buildings were hit or collapsed, or the 1-minute 9-1-1 cal that a victim had. To hear her panic and realize that she is going to die is just heart wrenching and certainly reminds us of the tragedy that happened that day.
Overall, the movie was done very well and it’s no wonder that it’s getting a lot of attention. The length of the movie is a slight turn off (running time is at 157 minutes) especially since there were quite a few scenes that could have been cut or trimmed down. Regardless, it’s a good movie to see if you want to see a good drama film or are into the history of America because this movie will surely be mentioned when people talk about good history movies.