Friday, March 7, 2014

Highway - The road less travelled - A review!

Originally published at Viewspaper 

Cast:Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda Music: A R Rahman Director: Imtiaz Ali 

The Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda starrer Highway with a story based on Stockholm syndrome made it to headlines from the day the shooting started. Movie goers were curious to see Alia in the new challenging avtar and her flawless performance deserves a huge round of applause. Randeep Hooda fits in the role with ease. The story starts with the pomp and grandeur of a rich Delhi wedding which is shown like a reality show is being shot. It is like a real life wedding which shows snippets and scenes  like it is shown in a documentary and what happens next is just unexpected. When Imtiyaz Ali and A.R.Rehman work together, the crafts man ship is always worth applause. We don't have many songs in Highway but whatever we have will not fail in stealing the show.
source : here

Story line and Review: 

Veera (Alia Bhatt) the daughter of a rich industrialist is a crazy , cute girl who loves adventures. The most exciting thing for her in the opening scene is to run away with her fiancee who is quite opposite to her and keeps cribbing about the impending danger. He is not wrong as danger is waiting to engulf them on that fateful night before Veera's wedding. When Veera shouts for help the impassive nature of the nerdy fiancee who keeps saying only one thing- "I told you so" makes Veera as well as the viewers angry. Randeep Hooda the rough and gruff head of the dacoit gang shows no mercy and tortures Veera. How the story unfolds is just exciting. It has equal amounts of pain , humor , thrill and confusion.

The transformation of Veera from a fearful girl who wants to escape the kidnapper's den to the one who warms up to him is little fast but that's how it was supposed to be taking Veera's behavioral traits in to consideration. The songs and music blend well with the backdrop. Kahan hoon mai song when she tries to run just touches the audience. She singing Sooha saaha - a lullaby to Mahabir (Randeep Hooda) is odd for normal people but she has stockholm syndrome and like the tag line of the movie goes she finally feels released in the bondage!

The scene where she reveals her childhood tragedy to Randeep made me cry. Alia's expressions , emotions , craziness , smile , tears everything will be etched in your memory. You will wonder if she is the same girl who made her debut in Student of the year. How ever the movie is a drag at few junctures. That's where Anil Mehta's excellent cinematography comes to rescue. The camera angles are unique and the heavenly landscapes, snowfall, rivers, mountains are jaw droppingly beautiful. One thing is clear that Imtiyaz Ali wants the girl to be extremely crazy , adventurous and she has to love mountains. His heroines from the past - Geet from Jab we met, Heer Kaul from Rock Star and now Veera Tripathi from Highway have few similarities :) !

This movie is all about Alia. Even in the song ali ali ali (Pathaka Guddi) I could only hear Alia Alia Alia! She is natural to the core and she doesn't seem like she is just a film old in bollywood. You feel like going on that dangerous and adventurous journey along with her and explore the world in a different style. Her enthusiasm is infectious. The scene where she laughs and also sobs is touchy. She most of the times talks to herself which is both crazy and cute!

Randeep Hooda as Mahabir Bhatti does justice to his role. The gujjar accent some times looked forced but he convinces us as he is apt for that role of a true blue dacoit.

Imtiyaz Ali's movie always is calm , peaceful and charms the audience as it flows like a beautiful poem. Like in all his movies the heroine wants to break-free from the clutches which are holding her to the norms and conditions of the society. Imtiyaz weaves the story such that he sets her free.The thing I love about Imtiyaz Ali's movies is that he shows all the dreamy , impossible happenings blended with so many emotions that the viewer gets lost in thoughts. By the end of the movie the bubble is burst as reality comes in to picture !! Hats off to Imtiyaz for delivering such a soulful movie and three cheers to A.R.Rahman, Resul Poolkutty and Amrita Pritam for adding the heart touching music to go with the journey on the roads across six states. Last but not the least hail the Nooran Sisters who have sung the Pathaka guddi song which will get stuck in your head! If it has an energetic vibe associated with it, maahi ve has optimism embedded in it even if it is all unreal. 

Scenes that will stay with you :

1.) Alia trying to escape from the kidnappers' gang and coming back to them as she has no where to go 

2.) Alia dancing to the English pop song and one of the kidnappers does his own dance which will make you laugh loud.

3.) The tender moments when Alia feels that she and Mahabir can live together in a hamlet on top of a hill and she cooks maggi and makes bed for him.

4.) Last but not the least - Maahive and Pathaka guddi songs.
Image source : Pathaka Guddi

Be a passenger and travel along this slow and steady road which will mesmerize you!

The only lines I remembered when I traveled along these roads and across the woods are

"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep" ---  Robert Frost 

AR Rahman, Resul Pookutty, Amrit Pritam churn out some soulful music - See more at:
mtiaz's female protagonist wants to break out of the existing rules and regulations - See more at:
mtiaz's female protagonist wants to break out of the existing rules and regulations - See more at:
mtiaz's female protagonist wants to break out of the existing rules and regulations - See more at:


  1. Usually, I am a sucker for such kind of movies. But, strangely, I did not like this movie. I still have no idea why. I felt the concept to be a little hazy and forced. But, I agree Aalia & Randeep have acted well.

    1. Ya some people told they didn't like the movie!
      Some how I liked it. Even I loved rockstar when some said they couldnt enjoy it !

    All the four points u said are my favourite especially the escape attempt! What a brilliant shot..

    1. Hy Five . Same here !!
      Those 4 points are etched in my memory ! Good to know U loved the movie too :) and HATS off to Alia

  3. A true review Afshan. I loved the movie as well. If we do not go into the intricacies about the movie being far apart from reality, this movie etches on your mind for long.

    1. Thanks for being here :) ya I echo whatever u said Arpita

  4. I enjoyed this movie a lot! :D A true review! I love what you've quoted from one of my favourite poems of all time. :D

  5. That is quite some review there Afshan. Nicely done, especially with the quote being aptly placed. I am yet to watch the movie, but your review has moved me that much closer at wanting to watch it :)


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