- Film: Highway
- Starring: Randeep, Alia Bhatt
- Release Date: 21st Feb 2014
- Produced by :Sajid Nadiadwala,Imtiaz Ali
- Directed by: Imtiaz Ali
- Story/Screenplay: Imtiaz Ali
- Music: A.R.Rehman
Bluntly speaking, Highway is not your usual fare. Its more of a cinematic journey than a plot driven script, delivered from a maker whose previous outings has been candyfloss romantic comedies. But despite being shot on an honest scale and riveting performances, Highway loses its sheen due to a frail plot, and it actually tires you to death till the final credits rolls.
Veera ( Alia Bhatt), a rich unabashed brat, is kidnapped at gun point by a bunch of goons led by Mahabir (Randeep Hooda), while on a late night drive with her fiance. Soon as Mahabir discovers that Veera is the daughter of a reputed MLA, he goes on the run from the law, and in this process, both Veera and Mahabir undertake a never ending journey across India— Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal- and develop a strange bond which defines their future.
Shot magnificently by cinematographer Anil Mehta, Highway bears the trademark stamp of Imtiaz Ali–exquisite locales and heart wrenching moments. Each and every frame of the film depicts a textured look, perfectly complemented with unobtrusive background and lyrical musical score by A,R.Rehman. Some moments will certainly take your breath away–Veera’s outburst scenes, her realisation of freedom and new found love, and Mahabir’s helplessness in witnessing her victim turning a new leaf, a midst the entire chaos. A special mention of the scene where Veera breaks into unbridled dance in the mid of the highway, and the goons are left straddled with haplessness.
But after a promising start, Highway derails and slowly meanders into a nowhere zone–it just doesnt go anywhere after a point. Veera’s sudden transformation into a ebullient co traveller is unconvincing, so as her soft feelings for Mahabir. The common thread that brings this unlikely pair closer is strained , and fails to make an impact. Though both the protagonists undergo a catharsis process from their tormented childhood, their solace in themselves seems too contrived. The film does end on a poignant note, but Imtiaz Ali stretches the insubstantial story so much that it tires and disengages the viewer completely.
Handicapped by his own story, Imtiaz balances by extracting remarkable performances from the lead actors . Alia Bhatt is absolutely crackling as the fragile Veera, displaying histrionics in her second outing itself. Her coercive performance unravels the vulnerability and honesty of Veera seamlessly. She is perfectly integrated with a simmering act from Randeep Hooda, whose, brooding intensity fleshes out a tormented yet susceptible character of Mahabir. Its easily one of his best performances.
Highway is an exquisite debris, a film which will bring laurels to their performers, but fails to work at the core level. I personally feel that the principal trio– Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda, Imtiaz Ali–certainly deserved better.
PopCorn Entertainment Rating: 2.5/5