Alia just won her FilmFare for Raazi, and we’ve been talking about her career in comments, so I feel like doing a theme week. I know a lot of you like Shaandar, Udta Punjab and Highway are on Netflix, Raazi just hit streaming. Ignore the Alia-factor, there’s plenty of reason to watch all these movies. She is very good at picking good scripts.
If Highway is all Imtiaz Ali, Raazi is all Meghna Gulzar. Clear beautiful visuals, complex cast of talented actors, and a twisted plot that is somehow clear to the viewer while watching it. She isn’t a poet like her father, but her films feel like poetry somehow, each scene dropping perfectly into place after the last one. Oh, and Kashmir looks pretty again.
Shaandar is an odd one. Made by Vikas Bahl The Rapist, with moments of weird prettiness, an always great performance from the Kapoor father and son Pankuj and Shahid, and a plot that doesn’t quite hold together if you look at it too long. But with a romance at the center of it that can answer all your needs for love at first sight and bright songs and colors and all the rest of it.
Udta Punjab is a very very difficult watch. A hyperlink film dealing with a sad broken place, modern day Punjab. And poor Alia’s character is the most broken of them all, but also the strongest and best able to survive. The funny thing is, she filmed this right after Shaandar, once again opposite Shahid, and it is a completely different kind of movie.
And that’s it! A week of misery and also Shaandar! Alia’s natural acting style and baby face really tempt directors to poor agony down on her in an effort to torture the audience.