In Hindi cinema, we have seen many great performances from female actresses over the years which remain etched in your memories forever like Late Nargis Dutt in ‘Mother India’ (1957), Waheeda Rehman in ‘Guide’ (1965), Late Meena Kumari in ‘Pakeezah’ (1972), Late Sridevi in ‘Chandani’ and ‘Chaalbaaz’ (1989), Kareena Kapoor Khan in ‘Jab We Met’ (2007), Vidya Balan in ‘The Dirty Picture’ (2011) and Kangana Ranaut in ‘Queen’ (2013) have been the most memorable performances from our actresses from all times.
Alia Bhatt as Gangubai in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ shines bright and will go down one of best acting performances from an actress in the history of Hindi cinema. She has the combination of innocence, vulnerability and determination in her character, who rises from prostitute to mafia queen of kamathiputra. She speaks through her eyes and the use of body language for her characteristics has been excellent. You can notice the difference in her walking style and sitting posture for the character. Her dialect for the character shows her good preparation. In emotional scenes, she raises her bar further. She shoulders the complete film herself.
At the box office also, ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ has opened well despite restrictions in few places on night shows and 50% audience allowed in few parts of the country due to pandemic situation. In the past also, we have seen Alia Bhatt women centric film ‘Raazi’ (2018) directed by Meghana Gulzar doing well at the box office and crossing the one hundred crore mark. Alia Bhatt is proving her mettle as box office superstar. We also need to appreciate that ‘Raazi’ and ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ are not your regular commercial entertainers but have serious subjects.
She debuted in Karan Johar’s ‘Student of the Year’ (2012) but the critics weren’t much impressed. It was her next film ‘Highway’ (2014), where her acting chops were noticed. She was part of successful films like ‘2 States’ (2014), ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya’ (2014), ‘Kapoor & Sons’ (2016) and ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ (2017) consolidated her position as a top actress in Hindi cinemas. In between, she also did difficult roles in ‘Udta Punjab’ (2016) and ‘Dear Zindagi’ (2016) proving her mettle as an actress. ‘Raazi’ was a big turning point of her career where she was appreciated in the role of raw agent, Sehmat Khan. She gave a terrific performance in the film.
Alia Bhatt has worked with all renowned directors like Karan Johar, Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar, Meghana Gulzar, Gauri Shinde, Mahesh Bhatt, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Rajamouli over the years who have nurtured her and helped her grow as an actress. She has played such diverse roles in her career and one interesting point comes across that she always played strong heroine characters even in her commercial films. Her characters may be emotionally vulnerable, but they fight back their situations to rise above that. She is yet to be part of a full-fledged comedy film or in an action avatar. This can be an interesting challenge for her as an actress.
‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ will take Alia Bhatt to the top position as an actress. The critics had little hopes from this performance as there was an iota of doubt whether she will be able to pull such a difficult character successfully. The director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been able to pull such a top-notch performance from her. This character has a hint of sadness inside her and superficial happiness from outside. She has shined brightly as Gangubai and will take ten steps in her career.
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