Among other things, Shashank Khaitan’s Badrinath Ki Dulhania has been accused of misogyny and encouraging stalking. Alia Bhatt who plays the object of Varun Dhawan’s (unwanted) attention is unfazed by the criticism. “No matter what I do there’ll always be people who disapprove and express their dislike vocally. My father (filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt) calls it an occupational hazard. I’ve learnt to live with criticism early in my career. I see it as a chance to improve myself.”
As for Varun Dhawan’s character “stalking” Alia Bhatt in Badrinath Ki Dulhania she reiterates very strongly, “No, he doesn’t play a stalker. Badri is not stalking Vaidehi. From the beginning we were very clear on this. Varun wouldn’t play a stalker. And I wouldn’t encourage that kind of attention. Yes the couple have their issues. But she is in love with him all the same.”
I tell Alia this is her first full-fledged latka-jhatka role, and she corrects me. “No, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania was my first latka-jhatka role. I had fun doing that. I had even more fun doing Badrinath. But I remember during Humpty I couldn’t get one of the dance steps right. No matter what I did our choreographer Ganesh Master (Acharya) was not happy with that step until I realized I was being too subtle with that step.”
The dance steps in Badrinath Ki Dulhania remind us of Govinda and Raveena Tandon. Alia Bhatt laughs, “It wasn’t intentional. But yes, if our movements give off those vibes it is because we grew up watching them and we love those films.”
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