Alia Bhatt is a fairly young actress but in a short while she has managed to gain immense critical acclaim. Here are her top five performances according to Subhash K. Jha.
1. Student Of The Year:
Playing an airheaded doll who is wooed by two hunks, Alia did something to her character Shanaya that no one else (except maybe Kareena Kapoor Khan) could have. She made her character appear empathetic, almost compassionate. Nope, it is not a crime to be a frivolous fashionista as long as you don’t lose your core humanism. That’s what Alia did in her adult debut (she had played junior Preity Zinta in Tanuja Chandra’s Sungharsh). She made Shania lovable and we didn’t even know when we stopped judging her clothes and bags.
A film about a rich heiress falling in love with her kidnapper (classic Stockholm Syndrome) Alia imbued her completely illogical character with a sense of gratifying credibility. Though it was hard to believe any girl could fall in love with someone so uncouth as Randeep Hooda’s gruff criminal avatar, Alia’s innocence and candour shone through. Her outburst in her sleek upper-class home against her child abuser at the end was hair-raising. But what the heck! Alia can show that clipping to her grandchildren to let them know what a fine actor she once was. And still is (I am sure Alia will continue acting in her 80s).
3. Udta Punjab:
Who would have believed that Alia could play a Dalit girl from Bihar working as a farm hand in Punjab, dreaming of becoming a hockey champ, but instead becoming a sex slave to a drug junkie? Here was Alia playing a character totally alien to her. She had never anyone even close in personality plight and predicament to her tanned dark character Bauria. Yet she managed to play this wretchedly unhappy girl with a fluency that comes naturally to her. Some rare actors are born for the camera. Alia is one of them.
4. Dear Zindagi:
Dearest Alia…wasn’t she simply adorable as a millennial single woman, Kaira, grappling with boyfriend and family problems, running for succour to the nearest shrink who happens to be none other than Shah Rukh Khan. The scenes depicting Alia’s growing fondness for her therapist crept up tenderly on us, as if no one knew it was coming. Alia let her heart speak for her. And we could almost hear it beating to the sound of Mr Khan’s bumper-sticker wisdom. Alia made her ‘Lolita’ act seem denuded of naiveté but still furnished it with an artless innocence. Even when Alia plays flawed character her spiritual core remains incorruptible.
5. Gully Boy:
Ranveer Singh plays the titular role in Zoya Akhtar fine homage to Raga of wretchedness, singing, rapping protesting his way through the streets of Mumbai. But Alia is the stealthy scene-stealer. As the heart meltingly honest Muslim girl Safina who loves hip-hop but wants to do something meatier with her life, she carries the hijab with a casual aplomb, makes her character appear hip without hopping into flamboyant self-exhibition. She is talkative and hyper. But you constantly feel Safina is not telling us the complete truth about herself, not revealing more than she wants to. That, I guess, is what Alia Bhatt’s secret acting style is. She never gives everything about her character away. We keep hoping till the end that she would. But Alia strips her soul only to tell us we haven’t seen everything yet.