With Highway, Imtiaz Ali chose to move away from his conventional romantic comedy and goes on to make a road movie, which has romance, drama and some comedy as well. But with his very first unique venture on road spell success for him? Well, If you ask us, we’ll say now! The Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda starrer has everything required but for a strong story line! We had sky high expectations from the movie, as it was a Imtiaz Ali directorial.
The first half of the movie hits all the right notes and is quite promising, but the film somehow fails to deliver in the second half. The situations which are created in the film are quite forced and are very hard to believe and connect with. Let’s just put it this way – Imtiaz has created a fantasy world of his own in the movie.
Plot: It’s quite filmy to say the least! A rich family from Delhi is going all ‘gaga’ prepping up for their daughter’s wedding. However just few days before the wedding day, the bride-to-be, Alia, who is very frustrated with all the ‘Rasam-o-Rivaaz’ decided to go on a hush-hush ride with her fiance. After having a very pleasant ride, while returning back, they stop to fill fuel in their car, where they witness a robbery and ultimately Veera is kidnapped by that gang which is being led by Mahabir Bhatti (played by Randeep Hooda), her selfish fiance sits inside the car, scared for his life. The robbers were unaware of the fact that the girl whom they kidnapped is the daughter of a rich and powerful businessman. Bhatti decides not to step back and takes Veera from one location to another or should we say from one beautiful location to other. What’s more surprising is that Veera starts enjoying the air of freedom and doesn’t want the epic journey outside Delhi, from Rajasthan to Punjab and finally Himachal Pradesh to end despite being Kidnapped. Everything was some what ‘okay’ till here, until just before the interval, Veera slowly starts opening up about his life and tells about his traumatic childhood. Post the interval, we come to know that even Mahabir has a deep secret from his bachpan which makes it quite obvious that Veera and Mahabir are bound to become one.
After a very long wait, the film reaches it’s climax, and the climax completely falls flat. Imtiaz’s concept of ‘two complete strangers falling in love’ concept has become very repetitive! The second half is so slow-paced that you’ll start praying that this journey ends sooner rather than later! The film doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the visual aspects and the movie is a treat for the eyes! Highway may not be a typical Imtiaz Ali film, but it surely has some typical Imtiaz Ali elements.
Performances: We have to praise how Alia has improved as an actor. Having said that, there are few scenes where you might get irritated with her. But we can;t really complain as she is just two movies old! Her de-glam avatar in her second film totally works for her as opposed to her glamorous look in her debut film Student Of The Year. She just proves that she is here to stay.
Randeep Hooda portrays his role exceptionally well. Randeep has evolved as a fine actor with some superb performances in movies like Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, Bombay Talkies among others. Hooda carried off his role very well as he caught the North Indian dialect very well and that rugged look was perfect for him.
Our verdict: Like I said earlier, this movie has everything.. from stunning visuals, riveting background score, peppy songs to good performances. All the movie was lacking was a strong and sensible plot. We just wish it was more practical and realistic.
On the whole, Highway is just a holiday trip that is being narrated and nothing else. It’s your choice – if you wanna give it a miss or then go drive along this highway.