When she entered the industry, Alia Bhatt was written off as one of the many daddy's darling daughters, a little silly, only here because father was ready to indulge her little fantasy of acting in one, maybe two movies. Then came the Koffee with Karan debacle and it was 'see you later, Alia-gator'! Little did we know then that her comeback to all the 'she's an idiot' jokes and her talent in the movies to come would make many, including me, see her as the face of changing cinema and suddenly she'd be the symbol of Millennial-ism.
She's only been in the industry for six years, but she's accomplished more than any of her contemporaries can boast of. Her second movie was nothing like her first. It wasn't even anything we expected, considering her first was a typical Karan Johar movie. Highway still remains one of my favourite performances by her; obviously after Udta Punjab, especially because of the way she screams and reveals the true extent of her pain, in the climax scene. In that moment, she had me. And talking about Udta Punjab, the movie did not belong to stalwarts like Kareena Kapoor or Shahid Kapoor, it was Alia's performance that moved all of us, despite barely having any dialogues in the movie. Shah Rukh Khan wasn't wrong when he said "she's too good, too soon"!
Honestly, I don't even want to talk about Dear Zindagi. I cannot explain in words how refreshing it was to see an actress, barely a few films old, take up a movie most other actresses would have rejected. Also, her role in Kapoor and Sons is worth a mention here. Playing the character of a girl who had drunkenly kissed the elder brother and later fell for the younger one made me relate to her on a level that is inexplicable, maybe because most of us have been there at some point. Even Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania were commendable, even though the latter may not have been her best performance yet. She's bankable, she delivers what is promised, sometimes more, and she's brought a change to Indian cinema. How many of our beloved Bollywood stars can boast of that?
But, what has our attention and our hearts is not just limited to her performances and sheer talent. In an industry known for its vanity and self-obsession, she was the first to take a joke and oh my god, did she take it well! Remember her 'Alia Bhatt: Genius Of The Year'? Suddenly, thanks to her, it became cool to joke about yourself on screen and off. But even then, very few have done that.
Also, can we just take a moment and talk about Alia Bhatt, the friend? Not that it's mostly true, but Alia definitely has never been one to be in news for having what popular media calls a 'cat fight'. She's a supporter of all causes feminist and is, as I like to think, the face of beautiful female friendships. Her friendship with Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and many others, as well as her unabashed love and support for them has shown many that being friends, even in a difficult industry, isn't so hard. There's enough good work to go around for everyone.
Even in her personal life, Alia comes across as a normal, (now) 25-year-old. The videos of her being the perfect bridesmaid at her best friend, Kripa Mehta's wedding is all of us at our best friend's wedding. Running to welcome the baraat, taking care of the bride's needs and tearing up when she's getting engaged is how I picture myself at my bff's shaadi. And when, talking about her sister's depression, she said "No matter how much I love her, I can’t help her get over the depression," we related so hard because we'd, at some point, been in such a situation with our loved ones.
For me, a typical millennial, Alia is the face of new age cinema and the generation going through a reformation. She's smart, she's unafraid and she's here to give competition to the best. It's not about the words; but the actions that prove it all.
Keep up the good work, Alia - both, on and off screen!