On Sunday, May 1st, 2011, the president of the United States of America (Barack Obama) was set to make an announcement of extreme news. I was on Twitter at the time, and it was frenzy. In the evening, when it was about to happen, I called my mother into my room to watch the announcement on CNN. It’s funny, because my mother had predicted what the President was going to say before he even spoke, but I think a lot of people had an idea as to what was going to be said. Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the tragic and horrific September 11th attacks, was killed. All of those years of fighting terrorism in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, were not in vain, because the source of the war had been killed. Of course, after the announcement was made, the conspiracy theorists who live to dim the bright lights of hope said that it was fake, that he had been already dead for so many years, and so on and so forth. Whatever your argument may be and how it stands when it comes to the Osama Bin Laden, we didn’t have to hear about him anymore, and the man who was elected to help ‘defeat the enemy’, did that.
I remember not too long afterwards, it was announced that a movie was going to be made about the mission of Seal Team Six that killed and confirmed the body of Osama Bin Laden. I thought this would have been a great movie by Ridley Scott, but when I found out that it was Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) that was making this movie, I was all for it. This movie did emphasize the importance of the mission, but there wouldn’t have been a mission if it wasn’t for one woman – Maya. Played by Jessica Chastain, there were a lot of great reviews about this movie, and given the number of nominations from the Golden Globes and Oscars’ alone; that put this movie as one of the tops of the season that was a must see.
In a typical game of Manhunt, you have people who go out and hide, and you find them. You set boundaries so things don’t go out of hand, and it’s essentially organized – the last person found wins. In this 10 year long manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, billions of dollars were spent, 2 presidents were in office, thousands upon thousands of people were killed, and time was wearing thin for the Americans – they don’t like to lose wars (Vietnam?). Maya was a key factor in the development of this mission, because when you have such aptitude and passion that enables you to drive yourself to achieve a set goal by any means, you can do anything. This movie captured what it was like on the tactical side and just how long it took to catch Bin Laden. You need to have guts, instinct, intellectual facts, and a whole lot of nerve to chase the same person for 10 years.
I liked that it was a chronology of events that happened since 9/11 leading up to the eventual mission, which included the bombing in London in July of ’05, the hotel bombing in Islamabad, and the suicide bombing in a CIA base. The intensity of the interrogation rooms, the plethora of characters that were questioned (I’m sure real stock footage was used too), and the life-like feeling of getting so close but still not within reach was what pulled you in more as the movie progressed. Much like The Hurt Locker, Bigelow portrayed a figure that was smart, instinctive, and one who was fearless, but showed signs of emotional breakdown behind closed doors. War takes a lot out of you, and in watching many war movies, it’s something that can’t be sugar coated. Charlie Sheen in Platoon, Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, Jake Gyllenhaal in Jarhead, and Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker were all focal characters that can be compared to Maya’s character, although she wasn’t a soldier like the others. She was a leader who didn’t let her gender let her be her downfall; she was smarter than the men to make a call and plan it with effectiveness, and she got it done.
This movie deserves all of the accolades and awards that it gets, because it is a great movie. It’s intense, heart-racing, psychological, intelligent, and most importantly, it’s a true story. Many people will have their arguments as to what really happened and how it went down, but to me the average viewer just commenting on a movie, this would be the only ‘reality’ we’d get to know about just how the mission was plotted and executed. I applaud Kathryn Bigelow on another great film, and it’s one that I’d recommend watching. This is my opinion, this is my review, but for now
That’s My Word & It STiXX