Alia Bhatt

From a rather dark and serious journey in Highway, Alia Bhatt has now quickly moved on to a much brighter track via 2 States. Bollywood Hungama’s Joginder Tuteja and Subhash K Jha report…

THE journey has become all the more enjoyable for the petite actress, courtesy of the presence of Arjun Kapoor who is no more in a gunday company and has turned all sweet and simple with a great sense of humour to boast.

“That’s true. Not many know but Arjun’s sense of humour is really quite interesting. It isn’t of the usual kind like everyone else.

“He has a very sarcastic way of cracking a joke and you need to be really alert about when and where he says something. You need to pick it up quick,” says Alia, who spent quite some time with the Kapoor scion during the making of Sajid Nadiadwala and Karan Johar’s film, 2 States.

Carrying a special place for Arjun in her heart, Alia adds, “There isn’t any single anecdote or incident that I can quote around his humorous streak because there are so many of those. I can’t pick and choose one.

“All I can say is that right through the film’s shoot; it was a breeze because he made me laugh so much.”

There wasn’t much laughter though during the making of her recent release, Highway. However the appreciation that has come her way for the film has more than made up for the lack of on-screen smiles. “Highway was a very difficult film for me. It always had a very special place in my heart though.

It wasn’t a conscious decision for me to pick a de-glam film after Student of the Year. It just happened, though I am glad it turned out to be my second film,” says Alia. “Now with 2 States, there is going to be a lot more laughter ahead.” South Indian protagonists in Hindi films, right down to Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express have followed Mehmood’s role-model in Padosan.

That’s about to change. Even as her performance in Highway gets her rave comments, Alia Bhatt is all set to wow critics and fans with her performance as a Tamilian wife in Sajid Nadiadwala and Karan Johar’s first joint production, 2 States.

Apparently, the role of the young Tamilian wife is based on writer Chetan Bhagat’s own wife. Alia was asked to play her part as normally as the real-life Mrs. Bhagat. Shedding light on the triumph that awaits Alia around the corner, producer Sajid Nadiadwala says, “Alia has played the first non-caricatural South Indian character in our films.

“Normally when we show South Indians in our films they have a thick accent, and if it’s a woman from the South she will have gajra in her hair and will go ‘Aiyo’ every five minutes. Alia does none of that.”

The two-film-old actress was told to play the character without the props of broad character traits. “How do I explain this? Alia is Tamilian and she even talks in Tamil. But she behaves like a city wife,” says Sajid.

Apparently Alia was asked to strictly not do a Deepika Padukone kind of “bokwas” accent from Chennai Express.

Alia admits it was difficult to not lapse into caricature while doing a South Indian character. “I was not allowed to be culture-specific in 2 States in my body-language or my accent.

Yes, I am a Tamilian in 2 States. But I don’t make a show of my regional roots. It is tough because when you are not resorting to speech and behavioural props, you have no handy tools to give personality to your character.”

According to the synopsis of 2 States, it is a story about a journey of one couple, Krish Malhotra (Kapoor) and Ananya Swaminathan (Bhatt). They meet at The Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and during the course, they fall in love. Complications arise after it ends and they decide to get married.

Krish and Ananya belong to two different states of India. Krish, a North Indian Punjabi boy from Delhi, and Ananya, a Tamilian Brahmin from Chennai.

But there is a cultural clash and the parents oppose the wedding and the couple face a tough battle.

For it is easy to fight and rebel, but much harder to convince. Will Krish and Ananya’s love for each other sustain the battles? Will they manage to convince their parents and make it to their wedding?

• 2 States opens at local cinemas on April 18 –