‘Raazi’ Questions Loyalties of Current Generationby Opinion Express May 10, 2018 0 comments
The upcoming movie, Raazi, starring actress Alia Bhatt in which she is playing the role of a patriotic woman brings into light an important question pertaining the loyalties of the current generation.
During her five years in the industry, the arc of her acting prowess has encompassed the likes of the romcom Student of the Year to the critically and popularly acclaimed Highway and Udta Punjab. Alia Bhatt has been on a roll and with Raazi, it seems that she is ready with yet another cracker of a performance.
Looking resplendent in a pink ethnic attire, Alia was in the capital to promote the film which is set against the backdrop of 1971 war and the sentiments, emotions, ideals and principles that reigned in the society during that time are portrayed. Based on a true story and Calling Sehmat, a novel by Harinder Sikka, the film puts forth a question for individuals to ponder over — is the kind of patriotism depicted in the film still alive today among the younger generation?
In the film, she essays the role of Sehmat, a 20-year-old daughter who marries an officer in the Pakistani army but is essentially a spy. “I am not a typical spy, the likes of which we see in James Bond movies who are confident in their abilities with glamorous surroundings. I portray the role of a simple, feminine young girl who has put herself in this situation for her country willingly. At times, she is scared of being caught but gives her all to her nation. Her upbringing has shaped her personality where she is ready to sacrifice everything to save her motherland,” she says.
Soni Razdan, who is Alia’s mother in real life, plays her screen mother as well. The actress was extremely comfortable and felt that there were few challenges as such.“I think both of us were nervous initially as it was a big moment for us but we were so immersed in our respective roles that we forgot about our relationship. But during breaks on set, we had nice conversations.”
As Alia portrays a Kashmiri girl who is married to a Pakistani military officer, she had to learn the nuances of Urdu which is a poetic language. “It was a new experience because it was a starting point towards learning a language and one day, hopefully, I would be able to converse like my director, Meghna Gulzar. It was essential to understand the nuances of the language keeping in mind the time period in which the film was set.”
Raazi has been shot in various locations like Patiala and Kashmir. Though there were a few obstacles due to the curfew which was imposed during the agitation against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s arrest, it did not throw the film’s schedule off kilter. The film celebrates unsung heroes who have laid down their lives for the country but are not recorded in the pages of history. For the petite actress, there are a lot of unsung heroes in her own life. “The individuals behind me, unknown to the world, who take care of my daily activities and schedules are my heroes. They make sure that I am eating, walking and reaching places on time. My whole team from the person who drives me around to my assistant and manager, all are responsible. Without them, I don’t know if I will be able to wake up in the morning or not.”
Alia is always eager to learn from everyone and believes that all you need is a perceptive mind and an honest heart. Her role models are not limited to successful people. The simplest beings she comes across who do not even belong to her field inspire her.
In India, the audience has an innate tendency to typecast and slot artists into categories. But Alia has been diligently choosing roles that are very different from each other. She has always tried to bring a new character to the fore with each of her films. “An actor is nothing without the story. I am attracted to the scope of performance that can be extracted out of me with a new role in different genres.”
She comes across as a positive person who has developed a connection with the viewers that cuts across age groups and cultural barriers with her stellar performances. “I don’t overthink. I take time to choose a script but eventually, I know what I want. Our gut feeling guides us in the right direction. Every time I think over something for too long, I know it is not meant for me.”
Like every actor, she works hard to understand and imbibe a character, so people are able to relate to it but a character’s portrayal doesn’t come naturally to her. “The process is challenging but one does not need to take it too seriously. You should wait and let it come out instinctively.”
Her father, Mahesh Bhatt, has always made women-oriented films. As his daughter, people usually want to know if she would essay any of the roles in films like Arth, Zakhm, Saaransh, Naam and Hum Hain Rahi Pyar ke. But she feels these films are special and unique and should never be recreated. “His films have always been an inspiration for me. He has covered a vast spectrum in his films with versatile stories in different genres. All these films are my favourites but I don’t want to act in them, ever.”
She is excited about her forthcoming films after Raazi which are very different from each other and set in different time periods. “It is an exploration of a completely different world.”
Writer: Ramya Palisetty
Courtesy: The Pioneer