Why Alia Bhatt in Hollywood is nothing to write home about!

Given Gadot and Netflix’s background and fruitful association, it is doubtful that Alia Bhatt would have a role anywhere as important as Gal Gadot in Heart Of Stone.

Subhash K Jha October 02, 2022 06:00:21 IST
Why Alia Bhatt in Hollywood is nothing to write home about!

Alia Bhatt

Why is it so exciting to hear that Alia Bhatt is doing a supporting role in the forthcoming Gal Gadot project Heart Of Stone?

Her PR machinery went on overdrive announcing the ‘grand’ casting, as though Alia had just been selected to play the new James Bond girl. Even that would be nothing to make a song and dance about, if you ask me, considering how little the Bond girls have to do besides pout, f..k and kill.

But a supporting role with Gal Gadot? Really? Firstly, Ali Fazal did it first. I mean, he recently played a supporting role to Gal Gadot in Kenneth Branagh’s brilliant adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile. Secondly—and this is the crux of the MeToo mentality that strikes the Bollywood divas when they take up any old thing that is offered to them from abroad—Heart Of Stone was designed as a Gadot project. It has been in development for more than a year.

Gadot and Netflix have a long-standing relationship. She recently starred in Netflix’s Red Notice, where even Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson were supporting actors. Netflix has already sanctioned two sequels to Red Notice.

Given Gadot and Netflix’s background and fruitful association, it is doubtful that Alia Bhatt would have a role anywhere as important as Gal Gadot in Heart Of Stone.

So thanks, but no thanks. I would have been far more excited if Alia’s super-zealous team had announced another film for Alia with Sanjay Leela Bhansali after Gangubai Kathiawadi. Maybe because I enjoy mithai more than cake. Specially when all that we’re getting is crumbs.

Why do the biggest and finest of our actors turn all putty and dreamy-eyed when they are offered a role in a phirangi film? Would Alia agree to play a supporting role to Madhuri Dixit or Shabana Azmi in any Indian film. No? Then why is it so exciting for her to be working with Gal Gadot?

In Christopher Nolan’s mind numbing Tenet, our precious Dimple Kapadia apparently had a voice. Hard to tell as I couldn’t make out what the duck the characters were going on about. It would be safe to say Dimple’s international debut was a bit of a disaster. Her character comes and goes in brief flashes and makes no sense to the audience.

Does Dimple’s presence make any difference to the screenplay? No, I am afraid not. Her hazy lazy presence in Tenet again brings up the debate on Asian actors rushing to do minuscule roles in American films. Remember Dimple’s favourite co-star Anil Kapoor making a fool of himself in Mission Impossible? I wouldn’t say Dimple ends up looking as ridiculous Anil. But it’s close.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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