Alright, so this is my ”review” of Zero Dark Thirty (ZDT). First off, I find it hard to look at Zero Dark Thirty the same as any other movie because of the content. So this is going to be less of a review and more like a discussion. For me, I didn’t know much about how they captured Osama Bin Laden, so I was looking to ZDT to give me a general idea of how it happened. Obviously I wasn’t looking for a true-to-life account of what precisely happened, because it’s a movie and not a documentary. However it did have a bullet point, event-based feel to it.
The end of the movie, when the SEALs actually raided Osama Bin Laden’s compound, is based on the book ‘No Easy Day,’ which was written by a member of the SEAL team that took part in the real-life operation. So from what I’ve read so far, the actual raid itself was pretty close to the true event.
If you didn’t know IMDB has a really nifty section called “Trivia” for every movie. Here’s a bit I found particularly interesting regarding the torture used in the beginning to gather information.
In an unusual step, acting CIA Director Michael Morell issued a statement about the film emphasizing that while the production team had met with the CIA, the film is a dramatization and is not historically accurate. Morell specifically contradicted the film’s assertion that “enhanced interrogation techniques”, also known as “torture”, had been of significant benefit in locating Osama bin Laden. Director Morell stated, “That impression is false. We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory.”
So there you have it. Some of what you see in the movie is true, and some of it isn’t. As a movie, Zero Dark Thirty was amazing. The filming, acting, and production would make me forget that I was actually watching a big budget Hollywood movie. I would have to sit back and remind myself, “Hey Nate, not all of this is a true account of what happened.” So in that respect, I think it massively succeeds, and if you haven’t seen the film yet, please please do yourself a favor and do so. Zero Dark Thirty is highly entertaining, if not a little eye-opening.