The Movie HIGHWAY – it’s a journey that I didn’t want to end, just like the protagonist Veera.
It’s a movie which actually moves a lot inside you and yet it isn’t the typical dark or negative film. It’s a movie which will stay with me for a very long time. Imtiaz Ali – you’ve done it like never before and continue to raise the bar!
Imtiaz Ali has hit an ACE with this film. His story and portrayal of Veera and Mahabir are so real and contemporary. There’s nothing melodramatic about it and yet it leaves such a deep impact. The keenly selected locales are so beautiful and fresh which gives a great backdrop to an otherwise serious message. The music by A R Rahman has a rustic touch which is soothing and a good break from all the trance music we so often hear these days.
The dialogues are simple and very intense. When Veera asks him “Ek goli se ek aadmi mur jaata hai?” (“Does one bullet kill one?”) His reply, “Nahi, do aadmi” (“No, it kills two”), one on both sides of the gun – so deep and yet said with no background score, as one would see in a similar moment in other movies.
Veera’s love for life, for freedom, is shown in the first few minutes of the movie when she asks her fiancée to take her for a drive in the middle of the night, has such a deeper meaning. This is something that emerges very loudly towards the end when she is talking to her family. She was truly liberated when captive. This is a huge paradox of life which is so rampant!
There are so many wow moments like; When Veera is hysterical with joy sitting on a rock near the gushing river at the foot of the mountains. And when, a day after being kidnapped, she’s talking to herself about how she is enjoying the experience. And, when she asks herself, “Why am I talking so much? Maybe because I was silent for so many hours?” A beautiful portrayal of expression after prolonged suppression (in this case proverbially as well as literally). And towards the end when she confronts her parents about her child abuse and why she doesn’t want to be ‘sensible’ as defined by social norms and standards.
Alia Bhatt as Veera was a pleasant surprise and extremely impressive. (Vidya – to be a good actress doesn’t need one to be callous about ones personality and sense of style). The way she carried most of the movie single-handed, and that too with minimal make up and non-designer clothes, is very refreshing.
This is a very serious subject depicted on screen – hugely impinging, but doesn’t leave you depressed. That’s the genius of IMTIAZ ALI.
To parents: Please be extra cautious to not ‘template-ize’ your child’s life with social framework. Every child is unique and so is every family. This is an attribute which cuts across parents of all segments of society. Not every child is as self-aware as Veera who understood what inhibits her and what gave her the sense of freedom and individuality.
About the Movie
Directed by: Imtiaz Ali
Starcast: Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda
Music: A R Rahman
What Inspired me to write about the movie?
This movie stirred a lot within me. First, money can buy you luxuries but not happiness and joy. The real joy is just in BEING. Second, that goodness of human beings is not an outcome of their financial or social status. And as parents, we carry a HUGE responsibility to LISTEN to what our children want to say – not all children are as self-aware as Veera, but when they express in their own ways we MUST encourage them to express. Veera endured sexual abuse as a child and nobody in her family related with her plight. Even after becoming aware of it they wanted her to remain ‘sensible’ as defined by the stereotype of their social norms. The manner in which such a serious subject was dealt with by Imtiaz Ali only re-endorses his genius.
About Shalini Chopra
Shalini lives by the mantra of ‘just live life’ in every way. 13 years ago, one fine morning, she was left with no money and no home. All she had was her ‘will never give up’ attitude. She not only restored her own life but did extremely well in her career too and in a few years from that day, became the youngest Associate Director in a Fortune 50 company. She is now helping the cause of the less privileged girl child. She is a Behavioral Transformation Coach and the co-founder of The Final Flourish, where she is coaching people to transform their behaviours and become better professionals, parents and individuals. She also has an immense love for music, dance and seeing people smile.