Jab Harry Met Sejal: What makes an Imtiaz Ali heroine? We bring you 7 examples

With Jab Harry Met Sejal just a few days away, let’s take a look at moviedom’s obsession with Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Imtiaz Ali is a believer too! Before Anushka Sharma joins the ranks, here are seven of the best.

hollywood Updated: Aug 02, 2017 17:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Jab Harry Met Sejal,Anushka Sharma,Shah Rukh Khan
What makes a typical Imtiaz Ali heroine? Here are a few examples.

‘The Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ is a term coined by critic Nathan Rabin. He came up with it after watching Kirsten Dunst’s performance in Elizabethtown, and it’s kind of stuck since then. He described it as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”

It’s also a character trope that Imtiaz Ali, director of this week’s Jab Harry Met Sejal, returns to in his films. The Imtiaz Ali heroine, while more defined than other Manic Pixie Dream Girls, also exists in service of the hero’s journey and acts as a foil to his character. Never is this more apparent than in Tamasha, in which Deepika Padukone’s character essentially saves Ranbir Kapoor’s character. Even Alia Bhatt manages to bring out Randeep Hooda’s softer side in Highway, while at the same time embarking on her own journey of self discovery.

There’s always going to be some flexibility in how these women are portrayed - they’re almost always given more to do in Imtiaz’s films, and aren’t nearly as shallow as some of these other examples. But there’s no denying that they fit into this mould.

So let’s check out some of the most memorable Manic Pixie Dream Girls - from Hollywood, and Bollywood.

Piku, played by Deepika Padukone in Piku

Anytime a character has the entire movie named after them you know they’re special. Piku may be tad too rebellious but there’s no doubt she makes for a kickass road trip companion. And guess what? She’ll always have your medical needs covered.

Geet, played by Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met

Geet was a one-woman army of madness. From road trips, to cute swearing, to forced tours of ‘ganne ke khet’, Geet was the heart and soul of Imitaz Ali’s Jab We Met.

Meeta, played by Parineeti Chopra in Hasee Toh Phasee

She’s super smart, weird, geeky and basically a thief. But hey, when the thief is as charming as Parineeti Chopra, who’s complaining?

Margo Roth Spielgelman, played by Cara Delevingne in Paper Towns

“What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person. Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventurer. She was not some fine, precious thing. She was a girl.” The kind of girl you go on an all-night road trip of revenge for as Son Lux plays in the background and the wind blows through your hair.

Clementine Kruczynski, played by Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

In Clementine’s own, self referential words: She isn’t a concept, she isn’t perfect, she is definitely going to leave but she’s the kind of girl you’ll go all the way to Montauk for.

Celine, played by Julie Delpy in the Before series

Doesn’t everyone have a wild romantic fantasy that involves running away with a quirky European girl impromptu-style? Even Shah Rukh sorta did it. And who better to have a long, rambling, philosophical conversation with as the night fades away into a beautiful sunrise than the delightful Celine.

Olive Penderghast, played by Emma Stone in Easy A

Ok, so let’s be honest for a moment here: It was a toss-up between like six Emma Stone roles but we decided on Olive. Because no one can sing Pocketful of Sunshine like her.

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First Published: Aug 02, 2017 17:01 IST