Friday, February 21, 2014

Highway To Hell

The past months have seen me being a bit too hell-bent on criticizing Bollywood and the films made there. My run began with Krrish :3 and I continued it to a post which talked about ways to make a hit Bollywood flick where I was a bit too harsh. Well, I don’t mind it! The moment I heard Patakha Guddi and Maahi Ve, I thought that maybe this movie, Highway, would be different, especially with Randeep Hooda as the lead actor.

I wished to see a Bollywood movie and that too on the first day. WOW! Even I can’t believe I just did that; what with all the Gundays shouting Jai Ho and what not. The title is again misleading, and I used it as that was what struck me when I first thought of the name Highway.

Directed and written by Imtiaz Ali, whose last movie was Rockstar, the film takes us to some places in India which we would never have thought existed. Randeep Hooda’s casting is very brave and it is indeed a very good move. A great portrayal of Mahabir Bhaati, Hooda can be said to be one of the underrated presences of this Hindi Film Industry.

Alia Bhatt. Sigh. Her role in Student of the Year had made me pity the future of the heroines of Bollywood, but here, she steals the show. Completely different from her previous role, this role sees her as a just to be married girl who is kidnapped. Impromptu as this hoodwinking is, the story moves on to Veera (Alia Bhatt) getting cozy with her kidnappers and finally saying, “Tum toh ab thode cute bhi lagne lage ho”. Touching on the Stockholm syndrome, the story goes on to reveal the reasons behind Mahabir’s behavior and also Veera’s liking to this new journey which she wants to go on and on.
Alia Bhatt in Patakha Guddi

The shots taken are too good, and that is another highlight of the film. Almost the whole of the film is taken live, and the use of sets is minimal. Highway, as the name suggests, and as I said earlier, takes us on a journey through Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh with the greenery and water and snow and all those things we miss in the cities.

In cricket, there is something known as the commentator’s curse, when he says something and it takes place just moments later. No, I’m not drifting off topic, as my friend with whom I had gone said as intermission was mentioned on the screen, “Acha hai gaane nahi hai jyada. Download ke liye toh bahut saare dikhaye the”. The second half has a lot of songs, and I mean a LOT! But yes, they are pleasant as you would have heard. The songs, and the background score, are bang on and they complement every shot. They don’t take your attention away, but they do work very well to make you hum them later on.

To sum up, this film is a treat after all the Part 3s and Jai Ho, and gives you a wonderful combination of melodious songs, a nice story, and lovely acting and the bonus is that you can view many parts of India which we can never experience from sitting in front of the screens.

For more reviews, click here, here and here.

My rating: 3.5/5