Upcoming Posts Announcement: Alia Week! Highway Tomorrow 3/29, Raazi Sunday 3/31, Shaandar 4/2 and Udta Punjab 4/5 Next Week!

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.

Highway is Imtiaz’s darkest simplest film. There are no stars at all, not even Alia, this was the first movie to really get her noticed. There really aren’t any characters either, just Alia and Randeep opposite her and empty landscape around them. No plot, it’s all about traveling around and two people finding each other. If the performances hadn’t been so freaking spectacular, and the scenery so freaking breathtaking, and the Rahman soundtrack so freaking groundbreaking, it wouldn’t even be worth a watch. But they all were, so you should see it. Get ready for Alia and Randeep to break your heart, and Rahman and the Kashmiri mountains to heal it again.

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.

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15 thoughts on “Upcoming Posts Announcement: Alia Week! Highway Tomorrow 3/29, Raazi Sunday 3/31, Shaandar 4/2 and Udta Punjab 4/5 Next Week!

    • I was gonna rerun it, but I think I just did for Shahrukh month or something.

      Anyway, watch Highway! I’m writing my review now and I am eager to hear what you think of it.

      On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 7:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • The funny thing is, it sums her up in most of her films, but not in real life. Daughter and sister of an alcoholic, other sister has severe depression, she could easily play the “wah wah, woe is me” card in public appearances, but she wisely avoids it. The public wants escapism from its celebrities, not sadness. But in films, totally! Directors are always taking advantage of her baby face to make us feel bad.

      On Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 1:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Maybe-just maybe- her sad,young face and the knowledge of her household troubles is why Karan Johar decided to take her under his wings and call her as his daughter.

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        • One very small “what if” that I wonder about, is if Karan would be so active in Janhvi’s career if Sridevi were alive. Would Karan feel such a need to try to take care of her? Or would he have just given her a launch and been friendly at parties and left it at that?

          On Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 10:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • True,Karan Johar probably has strong motherly, protective instincts. Maybe that’s why he isn’t as involved with Sara cos she already has a strong mother by her side.

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    • I considered that, but Alia’s role was really small, her character came after pretty much all the others in importance.

      On Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 3:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. She does choose good and versatile scrips. As Shahrukh had said on the Koffee Couch, she’s too good, too soon. Looking forward for her lineup, in the form of Kalank, Brahmāstra, RRR, Takht, Sadat 2, and more.

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  2. Udta Punjab is a fabulous movie to watch once, to have the story unfold in front of your eyes, and to take in the impact and meaning and reality of it all. And it’s one that I recommend to friends. And it deserves all the awards and accolades. BUT it’s not one that I want to watch twice. I’ve tried a couple of times to watch it online but I end up switching to something else within ten minutes. Maybe because the storytelling and unfolding is the most important part of this movie, so once you have experienced that, there is nothing more to add.

    Imo the main reason to watch again would be to pay close attention to Alia’s storyline and performance. Whenever she was on-screen, I felt like I was watching a documentary, she had the abject realness of a non-actor.

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    • You are so right about Udta. The beauty and wonder of it is seeing where everyone started and then finding out where they ended up. I think if I were to watch it again, I would just want to see the opening and closing of every story, not the middle any more.

      I have to speak up for Diljit as well. Especially now that I have seen him in more movies, I really appreciate the understated way he plays his role. Again, especially in the opening and closing scenes.

      On Sat, Mar 30, 2019 at 12:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Diljit was good, maybe I would appreciate him more the second time around.

        This movie was groundbreaking in early 2016, especially to have a gritty movie like this be a multistarrer and still encapsulate the Bollywood tropes of music and emotional storytelling.

        But in a post Sacred Games, Ghoul, Manmarziyaan, Made in Heaven, Dehli Crime world, I wonder how well it holds up? Does this forebear lose its luster a bit? Does its greatness come from its being first, or is it great on its own?

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        • I haven’t rewatched it, but I think probably yes? If nothing else, that soundtrack is epic. And it includes the emotional depth and sincerity that Sacred Games (for me) lacked. And it had a tighter structure than Made in Heaven, the stories came together more beautifully at the end. The best part is that it doesn’t try to give a simple answer for anything, and it also doesn’t skate away from answers. The situation is difficult and horrible, but the most important thing is to care for each other and try to do the right thing.

          On Sat, Mar 30, 2019 at 5:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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