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Alia Bhatt’s First Look As A Gangster Is Disappointingly Unconvincing



Don’t get me  wrong. I  love  Alia Bhatt. She  is  as beautiful  inside as she  is  on  the  outside. And she’s  a great learner  on the sets. But when I heard Alia  was  playing  a ferocious foul-mouthed gangster in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s  replacement  film Gangubai Kathiawadi –replacement for the Salman starrer Alia was originally  supposed to do with  Bhansali—I baulked.

From no angle  did Alia look like a female don to me.Supriya Pathak  in Bhansali’s Ram Leela is more  like it. For me  the ultimate  female  don is Shabana Azmi in  The  Godmother. She  possessed  both the physical and  emotional bandwidth to carry off the part with supreme confidence. Shabana stunned  and  rightfully won her fourth National award for her rousing  performance.

 For Alia to look convincing as a seasoned trigger-happy crimelord(crimelady?)  is  to expect Shirley Temple to  play Ms Maleficent. There are some things  some  actors  can do. Others that they can’t. Case  closed.

The  poster  of Alia  as  Gangubai  exudes  the  kind of purity I saw on Sharmila  Tagore’s face in Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar. This is not what  Bhansali intended. This is not what the character  requires. The  foul-mouthed ferocity of a woman making her way ruthlessly  through a man’s murky world is  completely  alien to Alia. The  character requires the aggressive outcasteism  of  a Sanjay Dutt. Alia lends her gentle supple  expression to a woman who can’t even look at a gun, let alone  use it.

From  the first-look Alia Bhatt as  Gangubai,   Gangubai Kathiyawadi seems a woeful  case  of miscasting. I hope I am wrong.But I already miss Alia’s  desi Roman Holiday with Salman Khan. Insha Allah, they  will get together  some day .

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