Highway Movie Review
On the whole, HIGHWAY is a triumph for Alia Bhatt, who delivers a marvelous performance. Also, what you carry home, besides Alia’s winning performance, are the stunning visuals, especially towards the second hour. But the treatment of the written material restricts its appeal largely. The connoisseurs of cinema and a tiny segment of the movie-going audience may go ga-ga over the film, but there’s precious little for the large base of mass audience that’s looking at the entertainment quotient from the maker of hugely admired entertainers like JAB WE MET and LOVE AAJ KAL.
Highway isn’t merely concerned with cataloguing the virginal, versatile landscapes of Northern India. Often it’s the only ray of cheer to offset the grimness concealed within two wounded souls. Highway, he uses travel like artistry, a narrative form to unfold the adventures of its two leading protagonists learning (and unlearning) a few precious lessons about the capricious course life follows when tackled head-on.
A couple of damaged strangers seeking redemption via a road journey is the premise of Imtiaz Ali’s latest ‘Highway’. The director’s attempt to move away from his trademark candyfloss-ness has mixed results: this is perhaps the most picturesque road movie I have seen coming out of Bollywood, but the story struggles with its twin threads and uneven tone. ‘Highway’ is a patchy ride, with the occasional high spot.
Highway is not a sunny, funny road-trip. It is Imtiaz Ali’s starkest, darkest work yet.But what stamps this film indelibly is its sheer boldness. At times, Highway feels like an unending Bharat darshan, a long look at suffering souls through several deserts and eucalyptus trees. But some meandering is its only flaw. Watch it for its cathartic creativity.Highway is not an easy ride. But it offers fresh breezes and new sights.
It has many a moment that is endearing and exquisitely etched, but the film is not always engaging enough to be able to offset the occasional inertia that stems from its lack of physical action. But doubtless, Highway is a must watch as much for what it is as for what it isn’t. It is not a typical romantic drama, nor an average love story. It is a road movie with a difference. Highway dishes out a trip that is definitely worth the price of the ticket.
It is a film about nature and travel; about a meandering journey without a definite destination. Highway makes for the kind of cinema we need, perhaps not something we entirely deserve. Even if you aren’t moved by its unhurried simplicity, or do not agree with this review, I challenge you to resist an overwhelming urge to rush out after dark hoping to get kidnapped (or simpler, just take off) to the foothills of the Himalayas. In that itself, is the battle won by a film that strives for little more.
It is rare that a Hindi language film delivers so much promise in the first half.’ ‘And so it is extremely disappointing when the director and his script lead us on a journey that eventually fizzles out, collapses and dies in front of our eyes. This is the first time in recent years that a Bollywood film has paid so much attention to scenic beauty. Highway is a beautiful looking film and the cinematography helps sustain our interest, even as the narrative forgets where it is heading.
A scary prospect is that Highway might not make money at the box office. Some will no doubt criticize the film’s silences, long takes and lack of naach gaana. That’ll be a shame because it’s not often that a successful commercial filmmaker has the courage to take a sharp left from the blockbuster formulae and make something that’s different. There is so much to appreciate in Highway and if it can goad other commercial filmmakers to take notice and also dare to try something new, we’ll all be richer for it.
With Highway, Imtiaz takes the road less travelled and tries something very different from not just his usual style of films but goes ahead to challenge something that we have not seen in Bollywood movies. Although the problem that emerges is that he is not able to hold it together. Forget the reliability factor, the film is way too slow to offer any entertainment.Avoid this Highway, it will lead you nowhere!
Unfortunately, he’s unable to pace the travels adequately, sinking and soaring at random through the two-hour-and-10-minute screen time, leaving us distracted often. Barring a sluggish narrative and a few continuity slip-ups, Imitiaz’s movie promises remarkable performances. ‘Highway’ is a road less travelled, and one that we think you must embark on. It’s a bumpy ride, no doubt, but one that’s set in the right direction.
I feel cheated by Imtiaz Ali because Highway isn’t anything even remotely close to what we usually expect from the filmmaker after terrific works like Jab We Met and Rockstar. With Highway he undeniably slips. It is a frustrating film that will leave you angry. Imtiaz clearly wasted his caliber over leisurely making a movie that is strictly respectable for its lack of connection and conviction.