Saturday, February 22, 2014

Highway




Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 21st February, 2014
Time : 133 minutes
Director, Writer : Imtiaz Ali; Music : A R Rahman
Starring : Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda, Durgesh Kumar




Its voyages of self-discovery that seem to move the needle for Imtiaz Ali – with films like Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Rockstar and now this one, he seems fascinated by the confused lives well-to-do people lead, of their search for what and who makes them tick.


This is probably the strangest one of the three – a rich girl being unintentionally kidnapped around her wedding day – and then after a while, developing a bond with her kidnappers, enjoying a life of ‘freedom’ vs her normal constraint laden life. Of course, you also get some gorgeous visuals, a pulsating background score, some lovely, touching moments and also a strange, bittersweet end…but I found it an interesting watch, albeit not one I would be rushing to the theatres to view again.



It does drag a bit – there are almost more shots of our countryside than of the actors. Some of the scenes seem contrived. Some deliberately manipulated to wring some emotion out of us. Some unrealistic. And some, especially the topic of child molestation, downright uncomfortable.


It’s the unlikely lead pair, though, of Alia and Randeep (who else in the film industry would’ve dared to make a film with almost only these two ?) who make the movie watchable. Alia is far from the finished article but would encourage her to do more such roles than the candy floss, sugar coated bimbette role she chose to launch her career with. She gets it right here. You connect with her – even if not with everything she does – she makes you laugh, appreciate her predicament, sympathize with her as she grows in confidence as the film progresses. An excellent effort for someone in only her second film. And that dance sequence to the mash-up was just amazing, with full marks to Durgesh Kumar for his role in it !


Randeep scowls through most of the film and it’s a testament to his acting skills that he still makes you feel for him. Life hasn’t been kind to him, and the kidnapping, where the girl he has grabbed to save his skin, turns out to be the daughter of a well-connected, powerful man, is just another of fate’s unkind twists. Both he and Alia carry a deep secret / regret in their lives too, and just how deep, we discover through the film.



It was interesting to see a body language coach in the credits – he certainly did his job – Randeep’s squat, the way he wore a blanket around himself, the limp, lifeless way he walks around – was all spot on, as were the sights and sounds of driving around the highways of our gorgeous country. The tea stalls, the music, the fields, the eating places, the helpful people and the beautiful natural beauty around us. If nothing else, this one is going to make you want to go on a long drive !

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is so rewarding to see the once young ones, doing well in life & going places. Ishaan Chabbra, am told, has assisted A.R.Rahman with the music scores. Used to play that big Yamaha Casio during school functions. None of the events was complete without his composition. Barely ever spoke.. After schooling, left for Boston to pursue his passion. He has rightly proved : it's not important to be good in academics. Having a skill is what matters... May God Bless him always..

J said...

I enjoyed Alia's acting and the cinematography in spite of many loop holes in the story line.
The music is awesome, as expected.

Anonymous said...

He a chagrined vagabond cum kidnapper with volcanic intensity in him. She with her Utopian ideals..rest of the world was unimportant.. Destiny has other designs for her. Que sera sera..... Her journey of self discovery charts its own course. .. Ultimately, he proved to be her savior. She wanted to savour every moment of her freedom & liberation... ... Beauty of our mountains.... the air, scenery, mountain roads, streams, villages, the thick foliage, the flora and fauna, the mountainous terrain, the snow-capped peaks.. the barren desert land... has been picturised very well.. There is so much to disvover in our country.... The music helps add to the dramatic tension in the film..

Anonymous said...

The lives of the super rich n famous & the people in power is so hollow & artificial.. The irony of the poor girl : she felt trapped in her home & liberated when kidnapped. When she pleaded to be with Randeep for a little while longer... It was like watching a little girl beg to get her privileges back.... Why did they shoot him ? Har mulakaat ka aljaam judaai kyu hai ? ..... Right from our childhood, we are trained to follow what's been told to us. No questions asked, no risks taken. Societal norms often dictate our actions & beliefs. We lose out on discovering who we really are. Life passes you by when you are too busy making plans for tomorrow. Live in the moment...

Anonymous said...

!!! :):):)

Anonymous said...

Imtiaz Ali's genius lay in his brilliance at seeing the unusual... She was a refuge for him, a breath of fresh air & normalcy, a safe haven from the brutality & violence he dealt with everyday..

Anonymous said...

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http://urvarminds.blogspot.in/

Anonymous said...

"Travel is like love, mostly because it's a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end" -- Pico Iyer

Anonymous said...

Want to go on a looooong trip somewhere...