Originally Posted by someguy
I think this sums it up pretty well. The impact of torture on the investigation is very muddled and it never made me think "Boal is saying that torture is a very successful method of obtaining information". The sleep deprivation helped them pass off the lie, but the result of that ended up leading them to torture more people and get contradictory answers (like the guy who said he was dead). If anything, the film seems to be showing how even by the rare chance that torture leads to a piece of information, you can never tell if the information is any good. There will be another detainee giving contradictory information. And even though the lie was successful, it was reliant on another attack taking place. That's not exactly the most efficient or effective way of finding information.
I can see where QUENTIN is coming from though. If the events depicted in the first 45 minutes are completely fabricated, why not include what actually happened? I think you get the same result, but it would get rid of some of the ambiguity that is (apparently) present and prevent some individuals from misinterpreting the film. I think it's fine as it is though.