Today’s feature is a very special one as it is about one of my most favourite actresses. She is the very talented and a multifaceted personality Alia Bhatt. The reason for doing this feature is that Alia will be turning 28 on 15th of this month. Alia has captured the hearts of many ranging across different age groups from children, teenagers, adults and even old people. Apart from being a wonderful actress she has also sung some nice songs in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Highway, Udta Punjab etc. She also opened up a production house recently. The name of her production house is Eternal Sunshine productions. What makes this even more special is the fact that Alia is the youngest actress turned producer. The actress also set up an initiative called co Exist in 2017 which works towards animals and ecological welfare.
Shabana Azmi in one of her interviews had called Alia a wonderful actress with the perfect mixture of vulnerability and strength which is very attractive. When you look at the characters in films like Highway and Udta Punjab you feel that Shabana ji is right. For example, in Highway you see lot of vulnerability as she is scared of her kidnapper but gradually you see the character finding strength and by the end strength replaces vulnerability. A good example of that is the scene when she confronts her uncle in front of entire family. She yells at her father about not warning her about the dangers posed by insiders. The film ends with her going to the mountains and setting up her own factory. In Udta Punjab the character goes through multiple scenes of physical abuse but she never gives up, in fact she becomes a victor at the end. This combination makes her very endearing to the audiences particularly the younger generation both male and female. Males want to have a girlfriend like her while females find themselves in the characters.
Now I will talk about some of my favourite Alia Bhatt performances. Since I have already mentioned Highway and Udta Punjab I will be talking about three more.
1 Raazi – Raazi is based on the book written by Harinder Sikka. It is set in 1971 when India and Pakistan were at the brink of the war and Information is the key for both the nations. Alias character Sehmat gets married to a respectable Pakistani family. Her job is deliver information to Indian government through Mars code. It is a part which isn’t particularly likeable since she has to choose between nation and family. Honestly some of the actions which the character does are questionable but Sehmat never comes across as a villain because of Alias performance.
2 Dear Zindagi – Dear Zindagi was an attempt to normalize Psychiatry through the troubled personal life of a teenage girl. The character in this one is very different from Udta Punjab. The reason being it comes from an upper middle class family and her issues aren’t exactly first world war ones. You have friends to fall upon and also a glamorous profession but Alia still made it work with her spontaneous performance. Her scenes with the therapist played by SRK were one of the chief reasons why the film worked.
3 Gully Boy – As the title suggests the story is about a boy from the gully played by Ranveer Singh but Alia shined in all her scenes with a spirited act. In this film also you can see vulnerability and strength in many scenes. Alias performance worked as a perfect contrast to the understatedness of Ranveer. Through her performance she showed that good actors don’t need a whole of screen time in order to make an impression.
Apart from the above mentioned ones you have also got the Dulhania Franchise, Humpty Sharma and Badrinath Ki Dulhania along with 2 states, Kalank etc. Although these films are more commercial in nature the actress has played strong parts in these films as well. For example, in Badrinath Ki Dulhania Alia plays a girl called Vaidehi who is very clear about wanting to become an air hostess. She is someone who will go to any lengths in order to achieve the dream. Keeping all this in mind it is not surprising that apart from Shabana you have also had acclaimed actors Irrfran and Pankaj Tripati also praising her. Irrfran had called her a gifted actress with the potential of being an international star. Pankaj Tripati who was the dialect coach of Udta Punjab had called her a hardworking actress.
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As I earlier said the actress is a singer too. Her singing journey started with a bit version of Sooha Saaha in Highway however the first major song that she sung was the unplugged version of Samjhawaan in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. This song is not there in the film but is available in Youtube. The actress won lot of appreciation for the song. This was followed by two songs in Dear Zindagi and one of the songs was the club version of Love You Zindagi. After Dear Zindagi you had the song Ik Kudi which she sung with Diljit Dosanjh. In Badrinath Ki dulhania she sang the female version of Humsafar. The last one was Sadak 2. Just like her acting Alia also left a mark with her singing skills.
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Now let’s move to Coexist which I mentioned in the beginning. As I earlier said Co Exist works towards animals and ecological welfare. As part of coexist you have the initiative my wardrobe is Su wardrobe. It is a philanthropic initiative where people get to choose outfits from the personal closet of Alia and other celebrities as a part of charity. The entire amount goes to some charity or the other. From one of the proceeds eco friendly solar lamps were sent to economically backward districts in Kikkeri, Karnataka.
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Alias sense of humour is another thing which is worth appreciating. Everyone knows how she became the butt of the jokes after getting the name of India president wrong. She was never offended with the jokes and took it in her stride. She also talked about her favourite Alia Bhatt jokes. In fact Alia also featured in Genuis of the year which was a funny take on the aftermath of Koffe with Karan debacle.
Although Alia is only 27 you can see lot of maturity in her which shows both off and on screen. The biggest example of that is the way she dealt with all the trolling post Sushant Singh Rajput’s death last year. A Koffe with Karan episode was unnecessarily blown out of proportion and a picture was painted of them as enemies. Add to that Sonam’s statement of who is Sushant was attributed to her. The actress took the controversy in her stride and focused on her work. We can see the result in the teaser of Gangubai.
It is a well known fact that Kangana has been attacking her since 2019 just because Alia didn’t promote her film Manikarnika. But Alia never resorted to Kangana’s language and has always given a dignified answer. One reason for that could be that she understands the background from which Kangana comes from.
Alia’s compassionate nature can also be seen with her sister. In We The Women event she broke down about not understanding what her sister was going through in spite of living with her for a long time. It was a very heart-warming event. Similarly when Rishi Kappor was admitted due to cancer Alia made sure to visit her future father in law. She was there for all the family things and balanced the personal life and professional life very well. After Rishi Kapoor’s death it is said that Alia Bhatt called Neetu Kapoor regularly and not Ranbir.
Alia’s chemistry with all her co stars has always been good but my favourite pairing is with Varun Dhawan. They have acted together in four films starting from Student of the year to 2019’s Kalank. You can see the comfort level and the understanding that they have got. Even in the disaster that Kalank was their scenes were good to watch. My second favourite pairing of Alia is with Ranveer Singh. Before acting together in Gully Boy they acted in the make my trip ads and their pairing was liked by the audience. You can see the respect that they have for each other’s work and that clearly reflected in Gully Boy. It also helps that both of them are passionate actors and love to take on challenging roles.
Although Alia is not someone who is politically very active but there have been times where the actress has taken a stand. For example during the JNU and CAE protests the actress expressed her solidarity for the students through social media.
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I will end this feature by talking about the teaser of Gangubai which has been trending for all the right reasons unlike Sadak 2. The dialogues in the teaser have particularly become very popular and have been quoted by fans. A good example of this is the line Kunwari apne Chhoda Nahi, shrimati kisi ne banaya nahi. While the transformation of Alia in the teaser has largely been appreciated there has also been discussion about alternate casting. Now this isn’t really surprising since Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 also went through similar issues. But we all know what happened after the release of the film. Hrithik impressed everyone with his committed performance and the film went on to do very well. Coming back to this controversy it is necessary that the people wait until the release of the film. The reason being we don’t know which part of the life story Sanjay Leela Bhansali has taken. Since we are talking about Hrithik it is necessary to mention that both Hrithik and Alia have been invited to join the Oscar academy where they might be given voting rights.
I will finally end by wishing her all the best for the future projects which include Bramhastra and her Telugu debut RRR. An interesting thing about RRR is that Alia will be dubbing in her own voice. It will be interesting to see the actress speak Telugu.
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