Friday, February 21, 2014

Highway : Alia all the way....

There is one scene where Veera, the female protagonist breaks into dance mode and the kidnapper watches her stunned is one of the high points of the film highway. Imtiaz's Ali’s unpredictable and offbeat “Highway” can boast of several such high points yet it leaves you with a unsatisfactory feeling due to its inconsistencies in the script. Despite having strong protagonist and antagonist the film suffers from randomness and fails to give us a gripping screenplay. However the towering performances of the lead performers and excellent cinematography makes up for the deficiency.

The story begins with kidnapping of Veera played by Alia Bhat, by Mahavir played by Randeep Hooda and progresses with their journey covering 5 -6 states and ending with the beautiful Kashmir. The film explores dark secrets in the life of protagonists and uses it as tool to create an endearing relationship between the lead pairs.The film progresses to focus on their relationship and the eventual fate. Thumbs up for the climax of the film. Idealistic yes, but never the less an important one.

Rehman lends soulful music and seems to be in old element after long but it is the cinematography that ensures that elevates viewers experience watching Highway. It  is literally a visual treat. While Imtiaz Ali can be criticized for a lame screenplay, he needs to be lauded for for the near perfect casting, penning yet another strong woman character and neat direction.  But most importantly bringing out of closet, one of the very important social issue that is pertinent in India. His affinity for mountains is clearly visible.

Randeep Hooda is in sublime touch in his role of Mahavir and portrays silence and pain with equal strength. In fact, one should give due credit to him for underplaying his part beautifully specially in emotional parts. But boy, if there is one person who should stand head high right at the highway, it has to be Alia Bhat – she is a revelation. She completely takes you back with her supremely natural performance and the vulnerability that she brings out in the character. Her portrayal of Veera is innocent, endearing, charming and extremely engaging especially in the emotional scenes.She carries the two most difficult scenes of the movie, including climax with aplomb. To make the record straight, while Parineeti still remains my favourite, but Aliya is one up with Highway.

Not for the regular cynics, but I would recommend it once for Alia Bhatt, the message it carries and beautifully portrayed elements of nature.

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