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Learned Morse Code, Polished My Urdu For ‘Raazi’: Alia Bhatt at the Song Launch of 'Ae Watan'

'Whenever I see the scenes where I am coding, I know that I am not out of my character even for a second,' said Alia Bhatt.

Simantini Dey | CNN-News18

Updated:April 19, 2018, 1:19 PM IST
Learned Morse Code, Polished My Urdu For ‘Raazi’: Alia Bhatt at the Song Launch of 'Ae Watan'
Image credits: Dharma Productions / Meghna Gulzar | Raazi

The first song of Raazi, "Ae Watan" is out now and if its video is any indication, the espionage thriller film by Meghna Gulzar promises to be an engaging watch. In the song video, which is basically a montage of scenes from the film, we see Alia Bhatt's Sehmat go through rigorous training to become an Indian spy.

During the launch of the song, the actress said that she also trained a lot off-screen in order to portray the character of Sehmat accurately. Bhatt revealed that she learned Morse code for the film.

"When I was first asked to learn to code I said, "I'm an actor, I will not be joining the army, then why should I learn to code?" revealed Bhatt. However, the actress confessed that she did eventually learn to code.

"In retrospect, I am very happy that I learned to code. Now, whenever I see the scenes where I am coding, I know that I am not out of my character even for a second," she added. Bhatt also joked that now that she knows how to code she would be a perfect candidate to pass intel and can even join the army.

Bhatt's training wasn't just limited to coding. The actress, on request of her director Meghna Gulzar, also tried to clean-up her Hindi diction and learned to speak in a dialect that is heavily influenced by Urdu and mostly spoken in Kashmir. She revealed that she prepped for almost a month and watched many old Bollywood films like Silsila and Kabhi Kabhi to perfect Sehmat's tone and accent.

Meghna Gulzar, the director of Raazi, was very pleased by Bhatt’s efforts. The filmmaker confessed that it was a pleasure directing Bhatt and said, "If Alia had not done this film, it would have probably never got made".

Gulzar said that the level of preparation with which Bhatt comes on sets is commendable. "She will not only know her own lines but also the lines of other characters." said the filmmaker.

Gulzar praised Bhatt's instincts and versatility. She said that Bhatt is a spontaneous actress and she picks up small nuances instinctively.

"If I ask her to do minor tweaks, she would give a whole new alternative to one performance which is very gratifying because you see so many possibilities of this character in front of you. It has been a very fulfilling journey making this film with her." said the filmmaker.

Raazi is based on Harinder Sikka's novel, "Calling Sehmat". Bhatt said that she went through the book and found it be a good read. However, she confessed that she always referred to the script during the making of the film, and not the book. Bhatt revealed that the novel is very detailed and therefore it has been abridged and adapted for the screens in Raazi's script.

This is the first time Bhatt is playing a real-life character and she said that she felt a strong sense of responsibility to play the part with the right kind of emotions. Raazi also Bhatt's first period film.

The trailer of Raazi which released earlier this month received an overwhelming response from the audience. The song, "Ae Watan" that is out now also seems promising with its soul-stirring yet simple lyrics by Gulzar. "Ae Watan" has been sung in a somber and solemn voice by Arijit Singh. It is a heartfelt fervid cry of patriotism that has been beautifully composed by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy.

The trailer and the song videos indicate that the film is ripe with patriotic fervor and promise some memorable performances. However, whether it will live up to all the hype and expectations will be revealed onMay 11, 2018, when the film hits the screen.

For now, listen to this beautiful song from Raazi that surely deserves a place in your playlist:

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