Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Marc Boal‘s examination of one woman’s 10 year odyssey to track down Osama bin Laden is an amazing piece of filmmaking that earned the top spot on my list of the Best Movies of 2012. Jessica Chastain stars as the increasingly obsessed CIA agent who isn’t lacking in self-confidence or knowledge but could use better people skills. Plucked from high school after 9/11 the movie follows Maya’s mission to find the illusive courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti (Tushaar Mehra) who she is certain will lead back to bin Laden.
Bigelow delivers a hard look at the successes and failures of the operation which finally bore fruit thanks to Maya’s (Chastian) dogged determinism. The movie doesn’t shy away from controversial issues such using torture to extract information, but it neither endorses or condemns the methods used over the decade long search for the man responsible for the attacks on 9/11.
By the time the film gets to the actual SEAL Team Six attack on bin Laden’s compound the tension has been ratcheted so high it’s palpable. And the final half-hour is a movie all to itself before returning to our protagonist who is faced with the reality that she’s completed her life’s work and a decade long search leaving her unsure where to go from here. For more of the movie check out my original review.
The film works as well for me on a second viewing on Blu-ray as it did in the theater (with the possible exception of the film’s empty screen opening which seems designed to put movie goers in a certain frame of mind before introducing our main character). Bigelow doesn’t shy away from the more unseemly parts of the story, or the rougher edges of her main character, and delivers a mix of a character study and thriller that is impossible to ignore.
The Blu-ray includes DVD and Ultraviolet digital copies of the movie and four short featurettes examining the making of the film, recreating Osama Bin Ladin’s compound, putting together and training the actors and equipment of the film’s version of SEAL Team Six, and a look at Jessica Chastain’s portrayal of the film’s main character.
[Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $40.99]