Shabana Azmi visits Bhatts to laud Alia Bhatt’s work in ‘Highway’

By Subhash K. Jha

Immediately after seeing her performance in Imtiaz Ali’s “HighwayShabana Azmi rushed to the Bhatts’ residence to congratulate the parents and their daughter Alia for the 20-year-old’s extraordinary performance.

The multiple National award winning actress, acknowledged by many cineastes as among India’s finest, sees Alia as the true inheritor of her talent. Interestingly, Alia’s father Mahesh Bhatt has compared her performance in “Highway to” Shabana’s sterling career-defining performance in 1982 film “Arth“.

Shabana, who won a National award for her work in “Arth“, agreed with Mahesh Bhatt’s assessment.

Javed (Akhtar) and I went straight to Alia’s house after watching ‘Highway‘. We were both profoundly moved by her performance. I am so very proud of her

said Shabana. Shabana takes no offence that Alia’s father has compared her two-film old daughter to her.

Mahesh doesn’t say this lightly and he doesn’t say it because Alia is his daughter. He compares Alia’s performance to mine because he genuinely believes that the girl has achieved an exceptional level of performing prowess so early in her career. And Mahesh is right

Alia Bhatt, Sophie Chaudhary at Highway promotions in PVR, Mumbai on 22nd Feb 2014

Shabana feels Alia has got what Shabana did in “Arth” in no time at all.

Alia’s achievement is all the more laudable because I did ‘Arth‘ after nine years of facing the camera. Alia has done it in her second film. That’s amazing! Alia took me completely by surprise. She possesses both vulnerability and insouciance.

Alia’s protective step-sister Pooja Bhatt may plan a film with her baby sister.

If ‘Student Of The Year‘ launched Alia as a young star, ‘Highway‘ has launched her as an actor. I am so proud of her and I shall remain ever-grateful to Imtiaz Ali.

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