Alia Bhatt's meteoric rise: from SOTY's stilted Shanaya to the colossal Gangubai Kathiawadi

  • March 15, 2022, 12:47 p.m.

It was 2012 when Alia Bhatt made a colourful entry in Student Of The Year, with the Shanaya OST blaring to announce her arrival. She swooshed in, surveyed racks after racks of designer merchandise to hammer home the point that she was a rich brat. She did it with much flamboyance, as the film set her up as the trophy that Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan were competing for. She had a handful of stilted dialogues in the film, and that was it. In fact, the only line that has a separate fanbase of its own was, "Haath mein pompom leke and ladkon kie liye chillana, yeh mera style nahin hai." She made an impression, but hardly as an actor with heft. It was unclear if Alia would be able to dig her feet in and cement her position in Bollywood.

Then came Highway, and it was hard to tell if this was the same Alia. She played Veera, a young woman whose life has been rife with trauma and suffocation—a far cry from the over-exaggerated and shallow Shanaya. Alia played the role of abused victim with subtlety and nuance, forcing you to look away in certain scenes as the naked emotion shone through.

While many pointed out shades of Stockholm Syndrome in Imtiaz Ali's film, Alia’s sensitive portrayal carried off the film. For those who had probably written her off in SOTY—it was a rather unsettling change.

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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