Cast: Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda, Durgesh Kumar, Pradeep Nagar
Director: Imtiaz Ali
HIGHWAY is a very uneven film, despite its several fine moments. The initial stages of the film feel realistic, especially Alia’s reveal of her dark secret before the intermission, and the climax reveals a surprising twist that makes the entire movie slog. Similarly, the writing is not cohesive, and the characters and story do not develop in a satisfying manner.
Imtiaz’s previous projects have been far better conceived. While HIGHWAY will appeal to a limited audience, its pacing and overall tone may not be for everyone.
“Highway,” the new Bollywood road movie directed by Imtiaz Ali, interweaves dark social issues with blithe romance. With Alia Bhatt and a stellar score by A. R. Rahman, it traces a self-discovery journey across six North Indian states. The movie is unorthodox and lacks a formal script, but it still should score high with Indian auds around the world and even be considered for arthouse crossover status.
Imtiaz Ali’s latest road drama is based on a true story, namely the Stockholm syndrome. The syndrome occurs when one person intermittently harasses, threatens, or abuses another. Alia Bhatt plays Veera Tripati, a young woman who is about to be married to a rich industrialist. In the film, Veera is abducted from her house, but she does not lose any hope of retrieving her daughter. But a misunderstanding turns Veera’s life upside-down, and her family faces a tough decision.
Cinematography is the process by which a film tells its story. Cinematography is often used for aesthetics, but it can also be a means of communicating a message. It establishes the mood and location of the film and ties scenes together so that the images make spatial sense. Cinematographers use several different techniques to achieve this. They follow visual rhetoric and work in tandem with other movie elements.
In the premise of the film, Veera Tripathi, a young industrialist’s daughter, is kidnapped from a petrol station. A petty thief, Mahabir, is attracted to Veera’s spirited yet innocent character and falls in love with her. The two develop an undying friendship and a special bond, proving to be the core of Highway. The film was a critical and commercial success, and the cast and crew of the film recall their fond memories of making the movie.
The characters of Highway are both interesting and flawed. Veera, played by Alia Bhatt, feels trapped in her life and longs to escape. However, she is constantly hampered by her phobias and does not open up to anyone in the film. Her marriage to the handsome Randeep Hooda does not help. Ultimately, Veera must decide whether to stay together or to leave her husband. In this film, Veera makes the difficult choice.