Imtiaz Ali’s film Highway is Movie with Fresh Breeze!
“Jahan se tum mujhe laye ho mein waha wapis jaana nahi chahti…jahan kahi bhi leja rahe ho waha pohunchna bhi nahi chahti…par ye rasta..ye bohot acha hain..mein chahti hoon ki ye rasta kabhi khatam na ho…. “
(I don’t want to go where you are taking me, nor do I want to go back home. But this road, this journey, it’s beautiful. I just want it to never end.)
These dialogues said by Veera in the film Highway simply give us a whole new perspective of life. Highway is not just Imtiaz Ali’s best film ever but also one of the finest road movies ever made in Indian cinema.
A 20-year-old girl Veera (played by Alia Bhatt) is kidnapped a day before her wedding. The series of events that happen after this incident is what molds the story of Imtiaz Ali’s Highway. Throughout her journey with her kidnappers, Veera experiences a sense of freedom and liberation, something that she never felt before in her life. She starts showing symptoms of Stockholm syndrome.
Though from a rich household, the troubles she experienced as a child tear us apart. Veera is an example of how we are forced to put on a mask to hide our real selves only to oblige to societal impositions. We are prevented to feel the way we want to, or even think the way we want to.
Alia Bhatt steals the show as Veera. The intensity of her performance and that too in her second movie shows the horizons she can explore as an actor. Her eyes did all the talking for Veera’s insecurities and confusion. The scene where Veera reveals the sexual harassment she suffered by her uncle leaves a lump in our throats.
The burden of carrying the ugly truth all by herself just for the fear of society throws light on a very serious social stigma. It is one of those scenes that leaves us teary-eyed. Alia is realistic and convincing at the same time.
Randip Hooda as Mahabir, Meera’s kidnapper, is also at his career-best. The scenes where he bursts into tears reminiscing his mother are heartbreaking. The death of Mahabir shakes us up as much as it shakes up Veera.
Both the characters are random ordinary people we may meet, burdened with the unsightly traumas of childhood that they never want to remember. Veera and Mahabir are mere reflections of adults who want to scream their hearts out and let go of all that they have been suffering for so long. They are sick of hiding and pretending that they are alright.
Imtiaz Ali is truly a splendid storyteller. He always knows how to make a film in a way that touches our souls. With Highway, he proves to us yet again that he is indeed the best filmmaker out there. Highway remains one of the best road movies I ever watched in my life.
It would be unfair if I do not credit the music of the film. A R Rahman is a musical maestro and with pitch-perfect music in Highway, he transports our souls to the barren roads where Veera and Mahabir are. The songs are still fresh and will always be a part of my playlists.
The last scene where Veera screams her heart out, exhausted with all the pretending for the sake of societal image is just so liberating. Don’t we all crave for such a moment, where we can just stop pretending and be ourselves to the fullest?
Highway will find its place in the category of best Indian movies ever made.
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