Disclaimer: This is not a movie review, but purely my thoughts and views on watching the movie.
How do you start to describe something when your head is overflowing with words, all in a state of haphazard, and nothing to put forth even one to start a meaningful sentence?
I am in a trance. I have just teleported from the snow clad mountains of Himachal and Kashmir. But I don’t think I’ve had enough of it. I need more. Just a little more. Veera’s exact thoughts just before she gets abducted in a freak robbery and begins an unexpected journey with contract criminal and her abductor Mahabeer.
I am not expert at critiquing any movie. I am writing here because after a long time I did not just watch a movie but felt its entire experience. Yes I finally watched Highway. Imtiaz Ali floored me again. What a craft! Highway, the entire movie, and especially Veera, hit me right at the heart.
It is a story about a little bird trapped in a golden cage which meets freedom by accident. The actors have done pure justice with their characters and the new kid on the block Alia Bhatt proves her mettle. She shuts every tongue that typecasted her as a typical Barbie doll after her debut in SOTY. This movie is probably her declaration that she has arrived. Although the above gives no guarantee of the type of roles she picks in future, but in the ‘now’ she has proved clearly that substance is something that is no where lacking in her.
This is a story of how a girl from a rich and affluent family finds freedom in captivity. This story tells, how in spite of every luxury and every freedom, she is still trapped. How she is unsafe inside her own house but safe in the company of her own kidnapper. This is a story of how a suffocated soul, on finding the opportunity, rebels. I am sure every person, who feels trapped and suffocated, by their current situation, in any way, would understand why Veera does what she does.
Strong willed, uninhibited, daring and raring to go, follower of her heart. These are some trademark characteristics of each of Imtiaz Ali’s female protagonist. If I had to describe Veera she is a mix of Geet from Jab We Met and Rashmi from Qayamat se Qayamat tak. But that is not all. Veera has her own identity, which distinctively comes out when she escapes from her kidnappers, when she relates her past to Mahabeer, when she hides in the lorry from being discovered by the police, when she walks across the mountains with Mahabeer, and most of all when she confronts her family. These are few of the powerful pieces of Veera’s character play.
I know I am gushing too much about Veera alone. Can’t help it. I can relate strongly to this character in many ways. And to be frank I am still in her trance. But lets not undermine Mahabeer. His is the character which probably gets highlighted more because of Randeep Hooda. This gentleman has so brilliantly played Mahabeer that one cannot point a flaw in it. I haven’t watched much of his work, and initially when I came to know about this odd pairing I had wondered “Why Randeep Hooda?” Imtiaz Ali could have taken someone better. But Randeep Hooda now seems more than perfect for the character of Mahabeer. Raw and rugged on the surface but still a tormented, emotional kid at heart, the character of Mahabeer is much like what he does in the movie. Mahabeer is the character on the driving seat.
Highway is an experience. An experience which made me cringe and dig my nails into my skin, which made that silent single tear drop from my eye, that made me suffocate and liberate at the same time, that sent me in a trance, even better, teleported me, mentally. No qualms with people who didn’t like it but for people like me, who wish to walk on earth like vagabonds, this movie is a blissful treat.