There is something incredibly tantalising about watching an Imtiaz Ali movie. Like a messiah of the confused millennial generation, Ali descended into Bollywood to show them their love stories giving incredible gems at the start of his career such as Socha Na Tha, Love Aaj Kal and Jab We Met.
Then came the introspection. It seemed that with Rockstar Ali wanted to get into the zone of coming-of-age stories. This is a disturbing trend. An established director should seek to stay in his comfort zone if he sees that straying from his zone wreaks havoc. Highway continues this trend with an angsty protagonist played by Randeep Hooda (Mahabir Bhatti) and a rich brat Alia Bhatt (Veera Tripathi) who is about to get married falling in his clutches after a late night drive goes wrong.
Ali once told me that he loves the freedom of writing his own story, dialogues and screenplay before he wields the directorial mike. With Highway, Ali gets into digital filmmaking for the first time but the story and screenplay somehow never come together. Ali throws in too many unpredictability for the audience and moves the pace of the movie in a non-rhythmic manner. If this is meant to show the relationship between captor and captive and its progression from contempt to Bollywoodised Stockholm Syndrome, Ali fails to pulling it off.
The redeeming features though make this movie a one-time watch. Alia Bhatt tries hard to convince us of her ever-changing feelings for her surroundings and her wide-eyed wonder helps her to a great extent but she is still a rookie. Randeep Hooda is a delight though. From his mastery of the local language to his rural angst against the ways and means of the rich to his conflicting feelings for Veera, Hooda pulls off Mahabir Bhatti with aplomb.
The vistas are another feature of the movie. Even if the screenplay doesn't quite stand up by itself, the rolling hills of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, the fields of Punjab and the flat barrenness of Rajasthan are enough to mesmerise the audience.
A R Rahman's music is less powerful than his earlier scores but the songs in Highway nevertheless touch a chord. No matter how many times you listen to Nooran sisters rendered Patakha Guddi, when it finally comes on screen, you can't hep but hum along to the tune.
Highway is a great visual and audio treat with great cinematography and an effective background score. But the movie lacks something vital - something that Ali has always promised to give us in his films. Highway lacks heart.
To watch the trailer of this movie, click here
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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 performance.
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.
Edited by .Tanya. - 2014-02-20T01:50:11Z
Topic started by RheaSingh
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