Reviews

‘Highway’ Review– A beautiful and botched up film!

Highway1

  • 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.  highway 2

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

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Reviews

Cocktail ….is hackneyed and spiritless

How many times have we seen a love triangle where there are two girl and a guy..all three are great friends, then one starts liking the other, and the third, falls head over heals over the same guy..the guy feels bad for the former friend, and sacrifices her love..and then ultimately, the  boy girl settles with the original girl of her choice, and everything is happy thereafter..A Beaten to Death theme..Period

Cocktail follows this beaten to death theme, with a smorgasbord of exotic foreign locales, few hummable songs, typical todays youth lingo and loads of attitude.. Saif Ali Khan reprises a role which he does the best,of a confused lover boy, which has been become a cliche role for him. Here he playes Gautam, an audacious flirt,  who gets   into a no string attached relationship with Veronica, played by the debonair Deepika Padukone, who boasts of a carefree and kick ass attitude. Deepika’s best  friend Meera, played by newbie Diana Penty, who is hassled with her own marital woes, initially hates Gautam and considers him to be a good for nothing sort of a guy.  With Veronica being the common bond , all three friends have a blast , until the abrupt arrival of Gautams Mother ( played brillantly by the evergreen Dimple Kapadia), a staunch believer in Indian tradition and values, on a mission to get her nomadic son settled down with a pure desi Indian Girl.  To save himself,  Gautam introduces Meera as her would be wife, with uncle Boman Irani playing the supporting part in convincing his mother. Gautam and Meera start liking each other in enacting this play, which makes Veronica jealous and insecure, and thus starts the roller coaster ride of   high decibel emotions. 

Cocktail is an Old wine in a new bottle,lacking novelty and freshness. Director Homi Adjania and writer Imtiaz Ali make an attempt to punch in all the ingredients of a perfect love story, making the movie ardous and too sweet to digest. The movie begins with a bang, with some great comic moments, but slowly fizzles out in steam, ending up as a predictable love story. The directorial abilities of Homi remains unquestioned, but its the screenplay which is a big let down, making Homis second directorial venture ( after the much acclaimed Being Cyrus ) a ” Bloody Mary without a Vodka

Performance wise, Saif is strictly ok, with nothing new to offer. His ageing looks and patterned mannerisms as a disoriented lover boy, are getting extremely wearisome, and its high time for a talented actor like him to clutch himself out of his comfort zone. Diany Penty, in her introductory role, does a decent job, though , she has a long long way to go.  Randeep Hooda, in a miss and blink role, maintains a dazed look throughout, as if asking himself “What am I doing in this film?” Seasoned actors like Dimple Kapadia and Boman Irani are wasted in their concise roles, but the scene stealer is Deepika Padukone, who pitches in a riveting performance, enacting the transition from a  carefree girl to a neglected and insecure partner in love, with excellent dexterity. Watch her bursting out in an inebriated state , firing  a barrage of accusations to Gautam, Meera and her screwed up life. An absolutely scintillating  performance..

The much hyped music by Pritam boasts of one wonderful track ” Tumhi Ho Bandhu”  picturised brillantly on the lead stars. The rest of the tracks lack the punch, the only other saving grace being “Daaru Desi”

Cocktail , with a clear focus on the Gen X, has it moments, mostly sporadic and inconsistent, and  has the  right ingredients in right proportion,  and would have possibly  turned out to be a tempting and intoxicating love story.  Rather, its mostly flat romance and  a predictable story line, deliberately making it an  exhausting and vapid experience.

Share  this Cocktail with your best friend  at home guys..:)

Watch it for : Tumhi ho Bandhu Song, Deepika  Padukone ,occasional good comic moments, and only if you have nothing to do..

Love.