Rise of the Shero
It's the Oscar Season; that time of the year when people over the world are busy watching films that have been sent up for the Academy nod and picking their personal favourites. The films being widely talked about this time around are Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln with a bravura performance by Daniel Day Lewis Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty, intelligence speak for half past the midnight hour.
Two of these, have a direct India connection Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook. Ang Lee's Life of Pi comprises of a fine cast of Indian actors Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain and Tabu, while Silver Lining Playbooks has Anupam Kher in the role of Bradley Cooper's therapist.
A little earlier this year during Golden Globes, it was heartening to see the talented Suraj Sharma and Tabu along with Ang Lee at the red carpet.
However, what is even more exciting is that movies around the world are allowing their women access to parts that have been largely unexplored. Last year the 'Wow' moment came from Meryl Streep for her bravura performance as British premier Maggie Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty with United States hunt for Osama Bin Laden at the centre of it, is one such gem this year. Jessica Chastain as Maya, a CIA operative who analyses the intelligence on Bin Laden for the final operation conducted by Navy Seals is fascinating. And from reports in the American media, the lady on who the character of Maya is based is quite the tough cookie. In the film, Maya's response to a colleagues 'Who's she?' is 'I'm the motherf***er who found this place.'
Apparently on being honoured for the success of the operation in Abbotabad, Pakistan, by US Navy Seals, the lady in question was rather upset that her colleagues, who were hurdles rather than any help, had been included in the honour! And she let them know it too when she sent a reply on a group mail stating the same. The lady remains under cover for obvious reasons, but a final nod of approval from the Academy for Best Actress, may just change that. At any rate, it will hopefully result in more Sheros (female heroes in cinema).
The second Shero of the said film would have to be the director Kathryn Bigelow, who has made quite a mark in the male zone that war films are. Among those doffing their hats to the director was our very own Ram Gopal Varma, who hailed her as even more talented than her much celebrated ex-husband James Cameron! Closer home in India, actresses and women directors Priyanka Chopra as Susanna in Saat Khoon Maaf or Seema Biswas in Bandit Queen among others are not doing too badly, though we have yet to see a heroine kick ass in a war film. The biopic on Mary Kom with Priyanka Chopra in the title role promises a good start.
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