On the road, into the wilderness, free with abductor
At certain points knockout vistas and narrative of Highway almost has meditative quality to it. You can’t help but mesmerized by the serene beauty of the scenes. In those sections, all we hear is more and more sound of nature and less and lesser human interventions. Rivers flowing against rocks, purity of air felt, calm of mornings in those mountains. A word will pollute such a frame. Which almost makes you forget the stark opposite story of two people with disturbing pasts.
He is Mahabir, a contract killer. She is Veera, bride-to-be he abducted. Daughter of a heavyweight tycoon. He is now on the run with her in trunk of his truck with a crew that soon will either desert him or had to leave as clutches gets tighter.
How Veera slowly realizes and adjusts to this new situation, her relationship with Mahabir, her captor and her struggle to free herself from the ghost of her past and loose into those vistas, nature is what Highway is about. I somehow never felt her relationship with Mahabir is exactly romantic. What they share is far more delicate and deeper in the course of the film. The wound they are carrying everywhere from their haunted past lives certainly explains the way they behave. I believed it.
A word for actors who shine bright. Alia younger, vulnerable, makes it work in favor of the role which is out and out trademark Imtiaz heroine. Randeep Hooda a first rate actor gives such an intense performance here (don’t you miss his spitfire line “Kutta Kutte ki maut marega”).
Imtiaz Ali’s last outing was Rockstar with Rehman’s probably best soundtrack. Both again are in fine form here. Though I agree this is underwritten film but the risk director has taken here as an artist is certainly brave. How can you not fall for a movie which makes room for a sequence that achieves so much with visuals where Mahabir dares Veera to go ahead and run. And she runs her guts out on vast, barren, merciless grounds of Rann in the night only to realize it is endless, with no soul in sight, and in those moments of helplessness something hits her as she looks up and something changes, she takes the time to marvel at the beauty of starry sky above as if looking for the first time, though not for long when cruel irony of her situation is only way out will be back to her captors where she eventually returns and collapses.
* Bad **Average *** Good ****Very Good ***** Outstanding