Film Review: Highway
By Sayantan Dalal
Cast: Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda
Director: Imtiaz Ali
What it's about:
Imtiaz Ali's Highway starts with a bang as we see bride to be Meera (Alia Bhatt) getting kidnapped by bandits lead by Mahavir (Randeep Hooda). The film then follows Meera's road journey with her captors and her eventual transformation which results in her ultimate freedom.
Highway has its moments, unfortunately there are only a few of them. Let's begin with the good ones. Director Imtiaz Ali wastes no time as he gets right into the thick of the action. The kidnapping scene gets you into the mood and hooks you to your seats. It gets even better during Alia's escaping scene from her captors. The scene is shot beautifully across an empty vast plot of land in the darkness. One actually feels what Alia's character must have been feeling. The cinematography is simply magical throughout the film. It's bound to make you speechless.
Coming to our lead stars, Randeep Hooda portrays this Haryanvi character to the core. His rustic charm and dialogue delivery blend him into his character Mahavir. Alia Bhatt gives a solid yet unique performance. Her role as Meera is the exact opposite of what she has done in Student Of The Year. Alia shows her versatility as an actor and delivers a commendable performance. From laughing, to crying, to being delirious and what not! She has done it all through just one character. She still has a long way to go but her performance in Highway will surely remain as one of her favourite roles in her career.
AR Rahman's peppy numbers work for the film, but none are stand outs, which is usually the music maestro’s forte.
Imtiaz Ali has tried his best to come out with something, which is outside his comfort zone, as a point to whom, God knows! Imtiaz Ali and romance go hand in hand. So it wasn't surprising when he tries to weave the same magic in a much serious circumstance, resulting in the storyline falling flat on its face. The romantic angle between Alia and Randeep comes across as childish and non-practical.
Especially in the second half, the storyline becomes unbelievable and boring. At one point you will feel like you are watching a tourism film rather than an Imtiaz Ali venture. I have no complaints in relishing the incredible India, but then why sit and pretend that there's a storyline as well.
It's very unfortunate to see that a filmmaker of Imtiaz's caliber has written Highway. The film tries to achieve something but ends up nowhere. Imtiaz tries hard to prove the sanity of his storyline with Alia's back story, but it simply doesn't work.
It seems the film has been shot and its script has been written hastily, without anyone turning back and checking it.
What to do:
One expects more from Imtiaz Ali and Highway leaves you disappointed. Go and watch it to see how beautiful our country is.
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