Bigelow and writer Mark Boal have chosen to give the film a documentary sensibility, and while our story centers around top secret CIA missions, military maneuvers, and explosions of all kinds it's an even, level-headed drama that seems to resist the adrenaline pumping cuts and edits of the action genre at all costs. At the center of Zero Dark Thirty we find a deeply frustrated CIA operative named Maya (Jessica Chastain), a woman only just sent to Pakistan to interrogate, investigate, and prevent future acts of terrorism. Don't make the mistake of wanting Maya to fulfill your between season desires for Claire Danes' manic Carrie. Zero Dark Thirty is not Homeland. It's not character-driven. There are no emotional, over-the-top histrionics, ill advised love stories, or elements of psychosis. This is not a reactive role or one where action heroine bad-assery or raging levels of emotion would be at all appropriate. Maya is rigid, but it's the type of rigidity that comes from discipline. This is a woman who is forever on the job. She performs her duties like a consummate professional, is devoted to them, and never allows anything that could undermine her position to have any place in her investigation because guess what? In reality? That Homeland shit doesn't belong in the war room. Bigelow is doing something interesting with Maya, she's a protagonist who never actually feels like a main character. We follow her, but this is a distant, third-person objective mode of storytelling. Maya leads us places, but she never tells us how to think about them and the film doesn't want to pull us definitively to her side.