Sanket’s Review: Highway is inconsistently absorbing drama.

highway Cast: Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Length: 2.10 hours approximately

Now one cannot really talk much about HIGHWAY’s story because it doesn’t comprise of dramatic twists and turns or any cinematic narration. All one can talk is the emotions which Imtiaz tries to pack in the film. HIGHWAY is a very easy example of a bumpy screenplay that goes for a toss in many scenes but simultaneously gives the film the much required highs.

The film establishes with a slow pace. First 35 minutes might put you on an uneasy mode as very modicum of progression comes across in terms of what the film is. But once we see the girl starting to talk to herself and shyly enjoying the whole hullabaloo, the film catches immense attention. The dialogues are razor-sharp at places and the wit is written all over them. There are moments you laugh out loud and the dialogues elevate the film.

One has to deal with the slow pacing of the film, which frankly is quite overdone. But second half does grab you for some excellent scenes like the one in climax where Alia’s character loses the cool and springs hot tempered monologue, or like that scene where she plays on an English song and starts dancing in the middle of a road. One really takes these scenes to heart and relishes the feel of the film. But alas, HIGHWAY is inconsistently so absorbing a drama.

There are lot of songs used in background but none really makes the impact apart from the already big hits like “Pataka Guddi” and “Mahi Ve”. HIGHWAY is strongly aided by the locations, by the sceneries, the look of the film. They are so beautiful that at times you don’t mind the director giving a documentary-esque kind of treatment for the journey. Although I must say, it is Imtiaz’s weak direction that puts HIGHWAY on the spot. He overhypes the entire drama by giving abrupt bullet shot sounds, by superficial slowness in the pace. Also his half-baked writing for Randeep’s character and especially his conflict with mother, serves as a major hurdle.

When I saw “Student of the Year”, I found Alia Bhatt picture-perfect for the regular bollywood potboilers. She was at ease and I felt she does immense justice to those kind of roles. But her portrayal in HIGHWAY has stumped and how! She is so much in the sync of her character that you are swayed in her world a lot of times despite the clichés in the story. She is utterly believable for what she does and it is understatement that without her inputs, HIGHWAY would have been boring! Randeep Hooda nicely does his job although one can blame the writer-director Imtiaz Ali for not letting his character to exploit to the potential.

In the end, HIGHWAY is pretty ordinary as it has lot of impacting moments, but the in the entirety, it somewhere lacks the spark. Yet, it’s a watchable film for the leading lady who turns out to be the best thing about the film, and remember she is just two films old!

Rating- 2.5/5

  1. cr7 10 years ago

    Good review . Glad to know Alia acted well . Always liked her . Will give this movie a try when good print is out .

  2. Ipman 10 years ago

    looks like a bad film

  3. Saurabh 10 years ago

    why so?

  4. Anjanpur685Miles 10 years ago

    “inconsistently absorbing” .. hmm, you mean not quite like

    A movie is absorbing only if its consistent.

  5. Author
    sanket porwal 10 years ago

    Rafsan Cr- Thank you.

    Anjanpur- for me, a film is inconsistently absorbing when it is inconsistently absorbing.

  6. narad_muni 10 years ago

    I liked Alia in SOTY and always felt she has get potential…
    Inconsistently absorbing – doesn’t make sense to me. Are you trying to say that it is sometimes absorbing and sometimes not?

    • Anjanpur685Miles 10 years ago

      Thats what I said Muni ji. Title itself doesn’t make sense at all.

      Probably author means something else by the term “absorbing” and doesn’t know real meaning of it in the emotional involvement context which is expected here in a movie review.

      Sanket, you should learn to use apt words if you aspire to be a good film critic. You sound so vague and stupid like…you know whom.

  7. Author
    sanket porwal 10 years ago

    Narad Muni- obviously yes. Isn’t that quite obvious from the two words!

    • narad_muni 10 years ago

      No, isnt it obvious that it isnt obvious to me? Thats why the question.
      When I read the heading, I was kinda was scratching my head.

      Its pretty clear from your comments that u cant take any, I will not post any comment in your thread from now onwards.

  8. Author
    sanket porwal 10 years ago

    Anjanpur- I don’t know what amount of research you are doing to try and refute the meaning of a word as simple as “absorbing”. I am laughing that you didnt get to know in what context I used that word.

    And second, I don’t aspire to be any film critic.

    How conveniently you put it that I don’t know the meaning but not that you could have missed on to get the meaning of it!

    • Anjanpur685Miles 10 years ago


      Take it easy. I am not your enemy. Its clear from my comments that I am not a fan of your writing. I did pull your leg maybe a couple of times more on this forum. But thats about it. I have nothing personal about you. Just saying.

  9. Ipman 10 years ago

    I didnt pay much attention to the words in the title until i saw ritz comment. he is right. sanket could have said its “inconsistently engaging”. absorbing is a contextually different word. you are either absorbed in something compeletly or you are not. it cant be partial or inconsistent.

    • sputnik 10 years ago

      Agree @baba-ji

      I think the title would have made more sense as “Highway is not completely engaging drama”.


      LOL on @ritz’s Carefree comment.

  10. Bored 10 years ago

    Highway is a watchable road romance, but a somewhat more mature attempt than Imtiaz’s Jab We Met. Btw, JWM was a much better movie compared to Dil Hai Ke Mangta Nehi (same story) which starred Pooja Bhatt & Aamir.

    Btw, when will Imtiaz learn to tackle any different topic??? He is again making another romance with Ranbir Deepika pretty soon.

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