By Sravan Rajnayan (Bangalore, India)
Highway, on my Slate – *Movie Review*
Actually, I am going to rename my reviews as ‘Viewer’s Experience’, at least with Highway to begin with.
Clear-cut, straight down the road, the movie starts with mélange of highways from different parts of northern India, mostly Himachal, Uttarakhand, Punjab etc… so you actually know you’ve hit the highway, except that you are stationary in a theatre. Yeah, Reality sucks!!
Then, you have this handy cam shots of a slick city girl (Alia) who is to wed an NRI (name not important), but hey, you come to know he is NRI only when in the last scene he puts up with this fake accent, but, otherwise he sounded very very Desi. OK, point is, she is sick of this Taam-Jhaam, Noisy home, and relatives, and basically wanted some respite by breathing fresh Delhi-air (I read this report that Delhi is the most polluted city in India, and probably in the world too !??!!). Whatever, so they hit the tip of the highway, and in a gas station, she gets abducted by a bunch of criminals. I won’t say ‘kidnapped’, but ‘abduction’ is the right word here. Then follows the story of her bonding with the main criminal – Hooda, aka, Mr. Bhati…
At one point, I thought I was watching Kareena Kapoor?? No, then, the next moment it’s this 16/18 something pretty girl. For the very reason I hated Kareena, I loved this girl! I forgive her, because she was just being her age. Shades of Kay, after all it is Imtiaz’s movie, maybe? So, the entire episode of her opening up as a victim to a pedophile, her run-a-back on that salt marsh, that 3-minute highway club dance bit – BRILLIANT! Coming-of-the-age, or, you call it romantimental, it’s brilliant. At a point when we thought film makers have run out of ideas, this comes as a surprise, and it is much ahead of all the romances you’ve seen on the celluloid, and, why not? The crew has taken pain in getting to the hardest of the places, with their cameras, actors and comes out this beautifully crafted piece. I won’t give out the full story because I want everyone to watch this, once at least!
Beautiful locales, terrific performances – it became physically and emotionally very close to my heart instantly (Yeah, it reminded me of my escapade from my home for a month when I was a teen :P), but no, it was nothing like what Alia/Hooda experienced.
Alia, forget about those weird/cheap comments about people who think you are the daughter of Pooja Bhatt/Mahesh Bhatt. While it’s hilarious people think that, this film will leave you with ardent followers, trust me.
After watching the movie, I am sure a lot of you would like to get abducted. If you don’t wish, you have an alternate – Hit this Highway, and have a pleasant trip.
Like my friend Smarth said, I also want to give Alia one tight big hugggg. Hey, btw, these 2-minute maggi noodles made their way to every possible inch of India!