Film: Highway; Cast: Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda; Director: Imtiaz Ali; Rating: ***
Imtiaz Ali has always had a
different point of view at looking at the most inert things of a person's life.
Be it falling in love in Jab We Met or someone's driving force towards his
passion in Rockstar. Highway tells a tale of a captivating journey. A journey
that seems to be never ending and something you wouldn't urge for either.
Traversing through the picturesque locations of northern India, Highway leaves
a pleasant and fulfilling experience at the end.
It's a story of a rich brat, Veera
Tripathi(Alia Bhatt) and a crass goon, Mahabir Bhatti(Randeep Hooda). What
starts as a late night long drives goes completely wrong and ends up in Veera's
abduction. A girl full of life is pulled away from the brocades of marriage and
jewellery and thrown into the harsh brutality of abductions. But Mahabir has
different plans than just getting a ransom amount out of all this. As the
journey moves ahead Veera discovers a life she always wanted to live and
Mahabir is pinned to some harsh memories of his life. What happens when these
two worlds collide is something that needs to be looked forward to.
As for the performances, Alia Bhatt
looks very natural and comfortable in the skin of the character. Though we can
find minor traces of a Geet in her character but still there is lot of
difference between the two. Alia plays her emotions beautifully along with the
flow of the story. Especially when Veer's fear shifts to a sense of freedom is
portrayed excellently. Alia does
complete justice to the role and has improved a lot as compared to her debut
Student of the Year. There is a subtle comic timing to her character, which
does help emotional pace of the film.
What seems like a fresh breath of air is
Randeep Hooda. He has often been criticized for his acting abilities and choice
of films. Choosing Randeep has been a very intelligent choice. The character of
a Haryanvi goon is very well done by Randeep. Though he has been given limited
number of dialogues, it works in his favour, giving him more room for
The music by the legend himself,
A.R. Rahman, just doesn't go wrong at all. To a certain extend it is the music
that makes this journey more captivating. The tracks have been very well woven
into the storyline, thus, it doesn't seemed forced of jerky. As for the songs
'pataka guddi' shows the free spirit of Veera, whereas, 'sooha saha' (sung by
Alia Bhatt) makes us connect to pain in Mahabir. Kudos to the cinematography by
Anil Mehta. Be it the mountain terrain or the long stretch of roads;
irrespective it has a very inviting feel.
Everything said and done, the
movie has its set of flaws as well. The first half is very promising and
well-paced, but post the interval the story tends to drag a little due to
unnecessary detailing. Though Imtiaz Ali is an exceptional and engaging story
teller, this one somehow lacks a soul. Overall the characters are very well
written and justify the overall plot.
All in all 'Highway' is a pleasant
watch, for the performances from the leads and a subtle love story in the
underlying. Do go for the film if you like watching subtle films and have an
eye for good performances. Thus, Highway seems to be a captivating journey
leading to a strange kind of freedom.