Originally Posted by rustysyringe
In the end if Maya had more sides to her personality, if she did more than just rant and throw tantrums, if she was even remotely interesting to watch, this may have been a really good movie. Would that make it great, would that put it on the level of Hurt Locker? No, there are a few other places where it falls short as well but the lack of a compelling character is certainly the main flaw here and having one would certainly make it a lot better.
I wasn't settling with Chastain to begin with, but I begun to grow fond of her character as the film ticked on. Some are grumbling that there is a lack of development with the Chastain. Firstly, I don't think there is much complexity to this character. This is hinted at in a dinner scene with Jennifer Ehle (reminiscent of Meryl Streep in one's salad days?) when she attempts to dig around for a personal background. She jokes, "Do you even have any friends?", which seems to weaken Chastain. She falls silent. In another, James Gandolfini attempts to plug her for the same, to which she rebuffs. However, we do find out that she was recruited in High School. High School
. This woman wasn't given the chance to develop a life outside of the C.I.A. As far as the film is concerned this woman has no past, no friends, and no consideration of what lies ahead for herself. She lives in the now. This is also communicated at the very end of the film SPOILER
when the pilot asks her "You must be pretty important, you got the whole plane to yourself! Where do you wanna go?". Chastain looks, staring right through him. An unambiguous question becomes incredibly personal to her. Where does she want to go?
The sadness is in the truth...to the next assignment./SPOILER
I feel that the final scene speaks volumes through its silence.
I found almost every minute of ZDT riveting. Not at one point did it stall or splutter, which sees credit due to well-conducted, thorough research, cutting and pasting of the events (wholly true or otherwise, we will never know), and knitting it so tightly together. The film consistently builds on suspense and sustains right up until the last minute of the 20min+ compound attack, which I see as large accomplishment seeing how it was no surprise as to the outcome. I was on tenterhooks.
The year's best American film.
Whoever nixed Bigelow for the Direction nom deserves a clouting.