The close look into the decade long search for al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 terrorist attacks and then his death in May 2011 at the hands of the Navy SEALs team 6.
Zero Thirty Dark is a truly outstanding film, that really needs to be said as soon as possible within this review. Everything about it creates so much tension and build up towards finding Osama bin Laden, I think the important thing to approach this film with was that it is very true and ignore any conspiracy theories around the capture of bin Laden and certainly plenty of that around.
In 2003, Maya Harris a CIA analyst is tasked with finding Osama Bin Laden and she is stationed in Pakistan with Dan Fuller a CIA intelligence officer. They both attend the black site and interrogations of Ammar a detainee who is suspected to have several links to the hijackers in the September 11th attacks. This includes many different approved torture interrogation techniques, something which Maya is very new to witnessing. Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti is a name that they eventually keep hearing about a lot, when managing to gain small pieces of information from different detainees. Maya must work out the closest links to bin Laden and really push forward with the investigation, getting to know some of the detainees and traits they will use to try and cover for other men within the group.
Maya becomes obsessed with her role in this and even as we move through to 2009 and then eventually 2011 you can see how it took over her life. She didn’t really have anything else and sacrificed everything to finding this man. when a large compound comes on the radar and is placed under surveillance. Maya is the only one with 100% confidence that bin Laden is in the compound other senior officers within the CIA are only on 60-80% likely.
Then we get to the 2nd May 2011 and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment flies two stealth helicopters from Afghanistan to Pakistan, and this is a truly breathtaking scene in the first which lasts between 20-30 minutes, I didn’t notice the full time due to the intense nature of them entering the compound. It was utterly exciting and a little bit scary as well, considering they didn’t fully know what was going to happen when they began breaking in, this was not an easy task with many different doors and the people who were living within it. As they only knew so much from the surveillance. It really does make your heart rate increase and you hold your breath as unfolds.
This is Jessica Chastain’s film and that is something I feel like I enjoyed just as much as the action and tension we see unfold. Everything about her performance is fantastic, a truly inspirational female character and role. She was Oscar nominated for her efforts and that was more than deserved, she really owns every single scene and I seriously found each moment so enjoyable.
Then the rest of the cast and performances are outstanding as well with Jason Clarke taking a lot of the early scenes and being truly engaging throughout. Then we also have Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Strong and the late James Gandolfini in one of his final roles. These are all perfectly cast and this is another fantastic thing about this masterpiece of a film. Everyone is so perfect in their respective roles and I feel that adds even more to just how well made the whole film really is, I am happy to eventually watch this and rather disappointed that I hadn’t watched it sooner.