Highway starts with a documentary feel to it showcasing the big fat Indian wedding. But, all the razzmatazz ends in a couple of minutes and what begins is a journey of self-actualization. Beginning with the rustic feel of the villages on the outskirts of the NCR region to the beautiful snow-clad mountains, is exactly how the mood of the movie swings.
Jab We Met was a big hit, and I found it decent enough. But I was thoroughly disappointed with Rockstar contrary to many people's opinions. On hearing about Highway, I just wished Imtiaz Ali would do better than his previous attempts.
And my wish seems to have come true, as the director has come up with a movie that leaves his previous work far behind! Highway is easily the director's best work and I was pleasantly surprised by the way the movie has turned out to be. This is like a coming-of-age cinema from the stables of Bollywood, which is obsessed with churning out one masala entertainer after another in search of the elusive 100 crore mark!
The movie is about Veera Tripathi (played to perfection by Alia Bhatt), daughter of a Delhi-based business tycoon who gets kidnapped by a gang of Haryanvi thugs led by Mahabir Bhatti (Randeep Hooda). I was really curious to see how Alia acts after her glamorous and brainless role in the utterly forgettable Student of the Year. And boy, she can act! In a role, which is poles apart from what she essayed in her debut movie, Alia plays a confused 20-something girl on the cusp of her marriage, who just wants to be different from her high society family, friends and relatives. She feels suffocated amidst those around her, just longing for freedom and perhaps, some simplicity.
She carries the movie on her delicate shoulders with Ã©lan and thoroughly seems to be enjoying it. Awkward in the beginning, she becomes more confident and assured as the movie progresses. It would take a really special performance from her peers in the industry to prevent Alia from scooping up the best actress award! Also, it would be unfair to leave out Randeep Hooda when talking about acting performances. He is extremely believable as the gritty, merciless gangster who oozes menace in almost every scene that he is in and tones it down when required. Both actors have made a terrific presentation of their acting skills.
I loved the way the landscape of North India has been captured with the roads and mountains. The cinematography is excellent and so is the music along with the background score, which is good, even though sparingly used. It gives a new meaning to the saying â€œit is the journey that matters and not the destinationâ€. Imtiaz Ali deserves every bit of applause that comes his way for making this movie, and it is only CLAPS for this Highway!