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- 2.5/5Tags: Alia Bhatt Highway Imtiaz Ali Member Reviews Randeep Hooda Reviews