It feels like yesterday when a certain newbie that goes by the name of Alia Bhatt forayed into Bollywood in what one would call a typical Karan Johar style through Johar’s feel-good summer vacation drama, Student Of The Year. Little did we, or anyone else for that matter, knew that Bhatt Jr. would put her acting mettle to test so early on in her career with power-packed performances in films like Highway, Udta Punjab and, goes without saying, her latest release, Raazi.
So, in case you haven’t seen Raazi yet, we suggest that you lift up that rock you have been living under all this while and go check it out in theatres nearby you, for that film and four others that we are going to mention below is evidence enough for us to claim that Bhatt is the best thing that has happened to Bollywood in a long time!
It goes without saying that this list was going to begin with her latest release, for we believe that she has delivered her best performance till date in this spy thriller. Based on a true account that was published as a novel that was authored by Harinder Sikka, Raazi tells the story of Sehmat, a charming, sensitive and naïve Delhi University student who gets strategically married off to a family of high-ranking Pakistani officials as they are suspected to be cooking something sinister against Sehmat’s Watan. In this Meghna Gulzar directorial, Sehmat is a shy and a coy girl who, we believe, was played to perfection by the young superstar. A usual character in an unusual film based on an unusual subject is what we have come to expect out Bhatt, and thanks to Raazi, our expectations from Gully Boy (Her next film with Zoya Akhtar and Ranveer Singh) are higher than ever! Ab bas Alia, Mudke Na Dekho, Dilbaro!
One can’t possibly deny that Imtiaz Ali’s Highway proved to be a major turning point for Bhatt, who, at that point, was only a film old and was instantly gaining the reputation of a glamorous girl-next-door (NO points for guessing why!). For some reason, Ali saw in Alia an immensely capable artist who had what it would take to play Highway’s super layered protagonist, Veera Tripathi, and we sincerely thank him for that! The film, that dealt with Stockholm Syndrome, really did show us that there’s more to her than what she was becoming “famous” for at the time (You know what we are talking about!)
Who, I mean, WHO would have ever thought that Alia will give her nod to playing an illegal migrant from across the border in a story that talks about the prevalence of drug abuse in the underbelly of Punjab? Not for a second do we recount seeing anything of the glamorous Alia in the skin of Mary Jane, the portrayal of which undoubtedly won and bowled us over!
Winding back to April 2014, where we saw Alia stepping into the shoes of a Chetan Bhagat character Ananya Swaminathan, in whom, we believe that we saw a reflection of herself, which was that of a brainy, self-assured and adorably quirky. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Chetan Bhagat movies, but that’s when Arjun Kapoor and, more importantly, Alia came to our rescue!
Student Of The Year
If you’re going to make your Hindi film debut with Karan Johar, you can expect to do so with a film like Student Of The Year, where we saw Bhatt for the part of Shanaya, an out-going and immensely adorable college girl, something that we would imagine came naturally to her, given that, from what we know, she had just walked into a film about school life right after completing her education in a Mumbai-based school, which also happens to be my alma mater.
So, in case you haven’t seen Raazi yet, you MUST check out the other four films, for, post that, you will have enough reasons to catch her in action yet again in the Meghna Gulzar-directed spy thriller.
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