TV Review: Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone on ‘Koffee With Karan’
With the surprise announcement of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s wedding on social media earlier on in the day, the season opener of Koffee With Karan, already felt a little dated obviously because it was pre-recorded a few weeks ago.
The theme du jour was that of ‘Girl Power’, but honestly, given a few stray references to Alia Bhatt and Deepika’s box-office clout and talent, there was little here that championed women or exactly how far actresses had come in terms of commanding as much respect as their male peers. This felt like the perfect opportunity to highlight the #MeToo movement too, but instead host Karan Johar steered the topics of discussion to more superficial talking points like identifying male torsos and who’s doing whom.
That said, certain elements of the show were particularly fun like the social media game towards the fag-end of the show, and certain questions on the infamous Rapid Fire round.
Of the two actresses, Deepika came across well, grounded and dignified and showed a distinct level of growth both in terms of her answers and her maturity overall. And whatever the case, she’s still the one actress who brought mental health awareness to the forefront and didn’t shy away from talking about it in the media – it’s a shame because that’s the subject that needed to be fleshed out here, especially with the existing stigmas attached to mental health, particularly in India.
Alia on the other hand gave us more or less the same as she has in her previous appearances, her highlight being that accidental burp, which proved to be a talking point for at least five minutes of the talk show’s duration. I do find Alia endearing, and the point she made about her script sense, definitely rings true if her choice of films is anything to go by, but I seriously wish the onus was more on her films and acting instead of her blossoming affair with Ranbir Kapoor. On that note, there was hardly any mention of the other ex-Dharma favourite Sidharth Malhotra, and even the few things that were said about him were said out of obligation and an upturned nose.
It hast to be said, the chemistry between Alia and Deepika wasn’t as comfortable as the latter’s previous outings with Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor. There was a slight uneasiness around their camaraderie and parts of it appeared forced and rather staged. The high point was of course, the pair of them singing, who knew they were so in tune – Alia especially was really good with the higher notes too.
While I like both of them individually and as actresses, Karan definitely needed a stronger duo to open the show. The irony was that the show was meant to be about girl power, but the only talking point was the common man in their lives and Deepika’s impending (now confirmed) nuptials. They both looked gorgeous though and there were several ‘lol’ moments during the gaming rounds but sadly, there wasn’t really much to chew on here that went beyond the superficial.
A little un-staged candour, Deepika’s experiences during the Padmaavat brouhaha, her upcoming biopic on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, her mental health foundation and what makes Ranveer and her tick would have made far better talking points than we got here. Similarly, delving into what really made Alia tick (rather than the man she’s dating), would have definitely taken the show in a different, much needed direction.
I get it. The show has a distinct audience and the flippancy is what the focus is on – but if that’s the case don’t make a song and dance about the show being about Girl Power when it’s anything but. If anything, Alia would have made a better pairing with her Kalank co-star Sonakshi Sinha and Deepika should have actually come on with Katrina Kaif or Anushka Sharma. That’s one we’d definitely have liked to see.
All in all, the show ticked the pre-requisite boxes and both Deepika and Alia individually were affable, but there was nothing really ground-breaking here that hasn’t been witnessed before.
One suspects next week’s guests, Ranveer and Akshay Kumar, will make for a far more interesting viewing, at least if the initial clips are anything to go by.