Alia Bhatt at the Gully Boy screening at the 69th Berlinale film festival.(AFP)
Alia Bhatt at the Gully Boy screening at the 69th Berlinale film festival.(AFP)

Before Gully Boy, how Alia Bhatt has emerged as Bollywood’s most unpredictable actor

Gully Boy actor Alia Bhatt has wisely balanced her filmography with entertainers and diverse roles co-existing happily in her repertoire. Here’s why her decisions make her the most unpredictable star of Bollywood.
By Ruchi Kaushal | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2019 09:37 AM IST

Is there anything that Alia Bhatt can’t do? At the age of 25, Alia has a filmography that is envy of many of her colleagues. The actor is back in yet another never-seen-before avatar in Gully Boy – the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who promises to ‘dhoptungi’ a rival in love. Ranveer Singh may be the eponymous Gully Boy but Alia holds her own in the film.

Once called a masterpiece by her filmmaker father Mahesh Bhatt, Alia has emerged as a powerhouse performer who has earned her stripes within seven years of her debut. Out of the 10 films she has starred in, all have got love from viewers sans one, Shaandaar. However, more importantly, she has happily walked the fine line between entertainers and roles that are hard to come by for women in the Indian film industry.

Also read: Alia Bhatt’s lookalike aces ‘dhoptungi’ dialogue from Gully Boy and internet is amazed

Alia can safely be called the best defence of nepotism in Bollywood. After her debut in Student of the Year, she could have been yet another heroine on the periphery of her own films as the camera followed the hero’s trajectory but she proved her acting acumen with her second film, Imtiaz Ali’s Highway. As a woman coming to terms with childhood abuse, Alia was equal parts vulnerability and strength in a very mature performance.

The girl-next-door

After Highway, Alia delivered two back-to-back romances -- 2 States and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. Both the films released in the same year, 2014. She carried on with similar roles in Shaandaar and Kapoor & Sons. However, all the performances allowed her to sink her teeth in and again underline the fact that she was a natural once the camera was switched on.

Touching extremes

After the four back-to-back masala entertainers, Alia could have easily been typecast as the girl-next-door capable of just song and dance. However, she left the critics stunned with Udta Punjab where she played a Bihari migrant who becomes an unlikely victim of rampant drug trade. Almost unrecognisable and with few dialogues, Alia broke hearts with the violence her character suffered in the film. But just like the climax of the movie, the actor achieved victory in her career as well. The film faced several cuts at the hands of the censor board and leaked before its release but Alia won praise for her portrayal -- every bit as important as box office figures.

Alia Bhatt’s career choices have been unpredictable.
Alia Bhatt’s career choices have been unpredictable.

Talking about her choice of films, Alia once told Filmfare, that she goes with her gut response, “My mood at that time, the script and the director… help me decide a film.”

The art of balancing the extremes

A resounding victory for Alia, Dear Zindagi has her playing Kaira, a young woman with serious emotional baggage. With some deep yet breezy help from Shah Rukh Khan, Alia effortlessly carried the film on her shoulders and made her character believable and empathetic.

After this film, she again returned with a romcom in Badrinath Ki Dulhania, her third film with Varun Dhawan. As a woman who walks away from her wedding to forge her own career, Alia again brought pizzazz to the role.

From the masala entertainer, she went on to play Sehmat in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi. The vulnerability she infused in the delicate but strong-willed Sehmat tugged at the heartstrings of the audience. The actor not only proved that she can deliver hits single-handedly, she also showed that she can deliver mature performances well beyond her years. Raazi went on to become her biggest solo hit and highest grosser of her career.

The future looks bright

After Gully Boy, Alia has two more releases this year. With a period multi-starrer Kalank opposite her favourite co-star Varun and a fantasy flick Brahmastra opposite boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor, the future certainly looks bright but equally unpredictable for Alia.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Vidya Balan’s last release was the Shakuntala Devi biopic.
Vidya Balan’s last release was the Shakuntala Devi biopic.

Vidya Balan says she 'hated her body' when her weight became a 'national issue'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 07:06 AM IST
  • Actor Vidya Balan has said that it has taken her time to accept her body because, at one point in her life, she used to hate it.
Close
Actor Divya Dutta has multiple projects set to release and be shot in the year 2021.
Actor Divya Dutta has multiple projects set to release and be shot in the year 2021.

Divya Dutta: I was jumping like a kid after coming back on set after so many months

By Rishabh Suri
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:22 PM IST
Actor Divya Dutta considers it a ‘blessing’ to be able to work again after the ‘crazy circumstances’ which took place in the Covid pandemic.
Close
Actor Bindiya Goswami and filmmaker JP Dutta with their daughter Nidhi Dutta and son-in-law Binoy Gandhi
Actor Bindiya Goswami and filmmaker JP Dutta with their daughter Nidhi Dutta and son-in-law Binoy Gandhi

Nidhi Dutta: I will count myself lucky if Binoy and I can be half as happy as my parents are

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:18 PM IST
The actor talks about her dream wedding, the importance of relationship and what she hopes she got from her parents
Close
You have to keep hammering the thought of equality and keep putting it out there constantly, Bhumi says.
You have to keep hammering the thought of equality and keep putting it out there constantly, Bhumi says.

Bhumi Pednekar: Women are a far cry from being equal to men

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:11 PM IST
On International Women’s Day (March 8), Bhumi Pednekar stresses upon the fact that “being a woman in today’s world, comes with a lot of responsibility”
Close
Kangana Ranaut with Vikas Bahl.
Kangana Ranaut with Vikas Bahl.

Kangana thanks Vikas for his role in her career despite their personal equation

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:38 PM IST
  • Kangana Ranaut, who earlier accused Vikas Bahl of inappropriate behaviour, thanked him for turning her career around with Queen. She said that he 'played a very significant role' in shaping her destiny.
Close
Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput took the Centre of Gravity challenge.
Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput took the Centre of Gravity challenge.

Shahid Kapoor nails Centre of Gravity challenge with Mira Rajput, watch video

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:32 PM IST
  • Shahid Kapoor aced the Centre of Gravity challenge, much to the surprise of his wife Mira Rajput, who called him a 'smooth operator'. Watch the video here.
Close
Aaliya Siddiqui had filed for divorce from her husband Nawazuddin Siddiqui last year.
Aaliya Siddiqui had filed for divorce from her husband Nawazuddin Siddiqui last year.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui's wife Aaliya ready to resolve issues with Shamas Siddiqui

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:07 PM IST
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui's wife Aaliya has reaffirmed her wish to reconcile with the actor in a new interview, adding that she is ready to mend her ties with his brother Shamas.
Close
Vicky Kaushal at the Indian Army camp in Uri.
Vicky Kaushal at the Indian Army camp in Uri.

Vicky visits Indian Army base camp in Uri, shares photos from his 'lovely day'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 06:26 PM IST
Vicky Kaushal thanked the Indian Army for inviting him to their base camp in Uri to spend the day. He took to Instagram to share pictures from his visit.
Close
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma at a birthday party.
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma at a birthday party.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma let their hair down at a party

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:51 PM IST
A candid picture of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma celebrating the first birthday of Wriddhiman Saha's son Anvay in Ahmedabad was shared online. See it here.
Close
Rhea Kapoor has been dating Karan Boolani for several years now.
Rhea Kapoor has been dating Karan Boolani for several years now.

Rhea Kapoor showers boyfriend Karan Boolani with kisses in cute photos

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:29 PM IST
  • Rhea Kapoor dedicated an adorable Instagram post to her boyfriend Karan Boolani. She shared pictures of her showering him with kisses. See his reply here.
Close
Taimur Ali Khan recently turned older brother.
Taimur Ali Khan recently turned older brother.

'Cowboy' Taimur steps out with dad Saif Ali Khan and half-sister Sara Ali Khan

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:05 PM IST
  • Taimur Ali Khan was photographed in Mumbai on Sunday. The star kid was seen out with his father Saif Ali Khan and half-sister Sara Ali Khan.
Close
Ibrahim Ali Khan turned 20 on March 5.
Ibrahim Ali Khan turned 20 on March 5.

Inside Ibramin Ali Khan's birthday bash with Saif, Sara calls them 'carbon copy'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:47 PM IST
  • Sara Ali Khan shared two new pictures from brother Ibrahim's birthday party. More pictures were shared by one of Ibrahim's friends.
Close
Anupam Kher turned 66 on Sunday.
Anupam Kher turned 66 on Sunday.

Inside Anupam’s birthday ‘pawri’: Watch actor dancing with his 'best friends'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:12 PM IST
  • Anupam Kher, who turned a year older on Sunday, shared a video from his birthday 'pawri' with his 'best friends'. Watch it here.
Close
Vidya Balan in a still from The Dirty Picture.(HT Photo)
Vidya Balan in a still from The Dirty Picture.(HT Photo)

Vidya recalls parents' first reaction to Dirty Picture: 'Dad clapped, mom cried'

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 03:51 PM IST
  • Actor Vidya Balan has recalled feeling worried about how her family would react to The Dirty Picture. She revealed her mother and father's immediate reaction to the film.
Close
Twinkle Khanna's public service annoucement featured an adorable photo of daughter Nitara.
Twinkle Khanna's public service annoucement featured an adorable photo of daughter Nitara.

Twinkle uses cute pic of Nitara to give important message about Covid-19 safety

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 03:25 PM IST
  • Twinkle Khanna, using an adorable photo of daughter Nitara kissing a puppy, urged everyone to wear their masks correctly instead of using them as 'chin straps'.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP