Posted in 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

Posted in Reviews

Movie Review “Jism2”- A big Yawn !

The much hyped Sunny Leone porn starrer Jism 2 finally hits the screen. The film had generated tremendous curiosity amongst the cinegoers because of its obvious USPs- highly erotic posters, aesthetically picturised songs, and of course , a sizzling Sunny Leone. Jism2 has been heavily captioned as an ” Erotic thriller” by the Bhatts. Ironically, its neither erotic nor a thriller. The film miserably fails to engage its viewers, and turns out to be a damp squib, unlike its original “Jism

The plot revolves around a porn cum prostitute Izna (Leone), who needs to use her libidinous”Jism” to take avengement against ex cop ( and ex lover!) turned assassin  Kabir ( Hooda), and aiding her on this mission are the masterminds-  IB officer Ayan( Arunday) and   officer Saldanah ( Zakaria), their pivotal focus being to extract a secured data which is a threat to the national security.Izna seduces and fakes Kabir, to trump out the data , only to realise that she is trapped into a double jeopardy.

Jism2 radiates sensuality in bits and spurts,with an opening scene of a sizzling Leone,  endowed in a red outfit,glistening shoes, erotic lingerie and liberal cleavage, seducing  intelligence officer Singh to a hotel room bed and making love. She repeats this act generously with a brooding Hooda under the aesthetic locales of Ceylon. But the biggest letdown of the movie is the screenplay and the execution of the story, coupled with some lackluster performances.  The movie gets mired into a tedious and prosaic platform, with dragging love making scenes and enervating drama, ultimately culminating into a not-so-unexpected climax. Director Pooja Bhatt seems got so interested in the locales, that she completely ignored to weave out a interesting story, which , she has been rather boldly boasting of an erotic thriller. Augmenting this boring experience are some platitudinous  dialogues : “Us jaanwar ko apne dil mein paala tha usne, she knows him the best”, “apne jism ko bechkar apne desh ke liye bahut kuch kiya hain “, “Jo aadmi apne mulk se wafadari nahi kar saka, usne iske jism se wafadari kardi”- absolutely absurd.

On a positive affirmation, the film has been brilliantly shot, profoundly aesthetic and scintillating. The locales of Ceylon have been captured wonderfully, rendering the entire movie a lustrous canvas. Coupled with this, it weaves out a some tuneful melodies, with “Maula” and “Yeh Kasoor” being the standout tracks

Jism2 showcases the canadian porn star Sunny Leon debut capably, as a seductress with pivotal focus on her much talked about assets- eyes and bust- in generous measure, but she needs considerable effort when it comes to ameliorating her acting skills. Her unexpressive eyes and her inability to emote makes her performance completely ordinary, in sharp contrast to her erotic demeanor. Same applies to newbie Arunoday Singh,  who renders a complete pedestrian performance. Arif Zakaria enacts well, though he looked shaky in the climax scenes. The biggest surprise is Randeep Hooda, who makes his brooding act watchable with excellent diction and a restrained performance.

Jism 2 could have lived up to its “erotic thriller“tag with a tighter screenplay and story, instead, it turns to be a damp squib and a complete dissapointment, especially after a rather interesting prequel to it. If you think the amorous posters and songs with a titillating leone promises a taut thriller, you are in for a honeytrap. 10 mins into the movie , and you are in for a “Big Yawn”

Watch it  for:  Excellently shot locales, and aesthetically choreographed songs. Otherwise, avoid it and get hold of Jism DVD at home .