Highway: Road less traveled
Highway generally is an off main road which offers one a smooth ride bypassing the hustle n bustle of the city intermittent with well distanced speed-breakers/check posts forcing one to stop, sit back and notice the vagaries of nature and spectrum of life passing by.
Imtiaz Ali, in his latest offering, has stayed true to its meaning and justified the title to the hilt. Ali’s audacious attempt to tread a hatke path finds a way to the heart of the viewers. It might not resonate well with blinkered people who have jaundiced view about everything under the sun and are quick to differentiate the black from the white but the movie will definitely strike the chord with the milieu who knows the various hues of grey, life offers.
Performance wise, Alia came across as a director’s actor; she took up the challenge for a 180 degrees shift from her glamorous SOTY days to de-glam avatar on road for Highway and she DELIVERED. Ali helped Alia find her groove in the film industry and prove her mettle. Her stifled life in an ivory tower, her helplessness about the memories of dark past, her sense of freedom to question, her monologues about her needs and wants, her exploration of the beauty of sand, soil, water and mountains, her new found courage to stand up for her rights and finally realization of her long cherished dream-home—The transformation of Veera’s liberation from the societal shackles and charade was etched out brilliantly by Alia Bhatt.
Randeep’s measured acting where eyes depicted plethora of emotions and his silence spoke more than the words was a treat to watch. His rebellion against the privileged, his vulnerability about the traumatic childhood , his brooding façade giving way to curve on his lips and finally realization of a sense of belonging---Mahabir’s character was a layered one(every saint has a past, every sinner has a future) and Randeep portrayed it with utmost conviction and heartfelt sincerity.
Storyline and Screenplay: Imtiaz ‘s direction and Anil Mehta’s cinematography created a perfect jugalbandi to showcase a simple story of two protagonists coming from two strikingly different parts of the world, yet finding a solace in each other. The opening moments capture beautiful nature shots, vistas of terrain and it continues till the last reel rolls out— Director’s vision and camera pans the entire journey, along with the soulful music of Rahman which is beautifully blended to the narrative of the film. The story if seen objectively might raise lots of doubts as Stockholm’s syndrome is an old subject but Ali’s canvas has a lot to offer, one has to scratch beneath the surface to actually interpret the import of the intent.
There are two remarkable scenes which don’t leave you, even long after you have come out of the theatre:
- · Veera looks at the gush of water overpowering a huge boulder, breaks into laughter and then tears run down her cheeks.
- · Randeep looks at his image in water besides a pitcher, he doesn’t believe what mirror tells him, breaks down, cries his heart out and then wipes his face clean.
Highway may not find itself in the 100 crorer league but it has given a flicker of hope that good cinema still LIVES.
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Loved reading ur review Pals..
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