Though highway is meant for a rush drive, here in this movie called Highway, one would drive slowly and steadily because the opening credits of Imtiaz Ali’s Highway prepare you for the journey ahead with all the highs and lows.
The movie begins with a chaos all around as the preparation for a wedding is in full steam. Alia Bhatt is set to get married. The pre-wedding ceremonies are shot in a documentary style. There are no full dialogues, only snippets that you generally see in a real life wedding video. It was refreshing to see the wedding ceremonies sans the Bollywood touch.
Veera (Alia Bhatt), the daughter of a rich industrialist, is set to tie the knot with Vinay, when her life takes an unexpected turn, after she is kidnapped by a gang of dacoits (One of them is Randeep Hooda). Much to her surprise, only after she comes out of her present circumstances that she begins to enjoy the journey called life. The twist here is that the heroine falls in line with the abductor and allows him to discover her freedom.
Two-film old Alia Bhatt is still a ‘student’ in Bollywood, but can give a lesson or two to many. A natural performer, she nails it in a couple of scenes. In one scene, she gets a chance to escape from the clutches of her kidnappers, but returns to them after she finds she has nowhere to go. In another, she bursts into peals of laughter, followed by a bout of sobbing.
Randeep Hooda delivers a nuanced yet controlled performance. He perfects the Haryanvi accent to lend authenticity to his character. He’s able to get into the skin of his character Mahabir Bhati. His character opens up and frees himself from the self-imposed shackles towards the end.
The movie takes one direction and focuses on it, rather than moving to sub-plots. Much like his previous films, Imtiaz’s female protagonist wants to break out of the existing rules and regulations, to lead life at her own terms. Hats off to Imtiaz for doing justice to the essence of the film.
The Oscar winning team of Jai Ho – AR Rahman, Resul Pookutty, Amrit Pritam churn out some soulful music to go along with Imtiaz Ali’s road movie.
Be it the opening credits, the abduction scene, the trying-to-escape sequence, the Patakha Guddi moments or the scenic beauty, cinematographer Anil Mehta deserves a round of applause for capturing everything so beautifully. Mehta has also tried some unique camera angles, to break the monotony of the journey.
The summary of the story is that if you are stuck on the crossroads of life, take the Highway.