Why should Jessica Chastain win the Oscar for Zero Dark Thirty?

Shoumo Bhattacharya22 Feb 2013

Shoumo Bhattacharya, who saw the much awaited movie Zero Dark Thirty, can't stop raving about the film's lead actress, Jessica Chastain. In this write-up, Shoumo shares with us, what is it in the movie that deserves an applaud, and why Jessica deserves to take home the prestigious Oscar Award.

Shoumo Bhattacharya tries to find one of the many distinctions of this movie, what “Heroism” is, and why he thinks Zero Dark Thirty should get at least the Academy Award for Best Actress. Zero Dark Thirty is a military time reference, which means thirty minutes past midnight. It stars Jessica Chastain in the lead role and is directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow. It has a run time of close to two hours and forty minutes.

We have all read and watched several news reports about the killing of the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden. The movie is not only about what happened at thirty minutes past midnight in Abbottabad in May 2011, but also tries to depict history by being realistic unlike most of the typical spy movies.

The movie is a mix of dramatics and documentary realism until it turns to thriller mode for the final act and gives you a feeling that you are playing play station or Xbox switching between standard and night-vision views. May be you should look beyond the beatings, humiliation, the water boarding controversy, the cars in Pakistan with Indian state registration plates and a tricolour flag in the streets of Peshawar (filming of Pakistan scenes took place in Chandigarh). The only point in the movie where I got confused was when the SEALS were addressing the gathering crowd in Abbottabad in Arabic and not in Urdu.

Maya (Jessica Chastain) is the film’s intellectual and emotional focus. She fights sexism, doubt, red tapism, personal attacks, false leads, death of colleagues for a decade to discover the location of bin Laden pursuing clues, hints and hunches. She stands in the Jalalabad base watching the SEALS fly off to take down the target to be heroes but there are no heroics after they shot bin laden. Even back in the base at Jalalabad there were no sense of triumph only drops of tears rolled out of Maya’s eyes in the last scene.

If there is a ‘Hero’ in this movie then definitely it is Maya and Jessica should get the Academy Award for Best Actress for her outstanding performance.

Tags: Zero Dark ThirtyKathryn BigelowJessica ChastainOpinionFeature

Shoumo Bhattacharya works as an e-Learning Business Consultant for an Indian IT giant. He is writing his first book and loves to travel especially in the Himalayas and very fittingly his favourite movie is “Kanchanjangha” by Satyajit Ray.

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