Even though I didn not enjoy Imtiaz Ali's last outing, Rockstar as much, his portrayal of romance has otherwise connected me well to his characters, even if not a 100%. There is a freshness about most of them.
In addition you have a new-ish premise in a love story. The thematic layer of one enjoying her freedom to the best when she has been abducted should have me glued to the seat for the entire length of the film, even if I don't like what's going on. You would catch me looking for that theme, if it hasn't surfaced till then.
I'm also looking forward to the context of the abduction and how the rest of the film is going to pan out, what will the true conflict be, how will it end. When a trailer has you asking all these questions about the film, it is rather difficult to go in with a clean slate. But as always, one shall try.
Bollyspice - "3/5"
Bollywood Hungama - "3/5"
dunkdaft - "Running out of words, but, yes, this is experimental Rahman. But still, he touches all the right chords."
Milliblog - "Only occasionally accesible, this Highway!"
Music Aloud - "9/10"
- meeta, a part of the audience
When was the last time you stumped yourself? When was the last time you bumped into something and enjoyed it, something that you never imagined would give you pleasure? That feeling of newness, that blissful ecstasy, why would you want to ever let go of that? This is what you experience with Veera (Alia Bhatt). You experience her pain too. Yet, Highway leaves you a little wanting and doesn't make you a part of its journey, 100%.
Alia Bhatt is gorgeous. I had to say that out first. It's not the Barbie doll look from Student of the Year, it's not her cuteness, she is a gorgeous actor. If you'd have told me after watching her debut that she can fill the screen with her presence, making me feel her pain and exuberance equally (in one shot, that too!), I wouldn't have scoffed at you, but I would've snickered internally for sure.
From the first shot you can tell this young lady means business - Her disdain and genuine boredom are apparent and then she takes you along with her, through a myriad of emotions. Her comic timing is perfect. Some of her lines could have sounded so silly, if they weren't delivered with the ease that she has being Veera.
And for Veera alone you could watch Highway. She's crazy, not eccentric. She's bound by society's "good girl" tag and doesn't realise she could feel as free she feels when she's kidnapped accidentally. There are a couple of scenes that point at social menaces that need to be addressed pronto.
I hate to undermine their importance, but these scenes do seem a little out-of-place within the context of the film. They disconnect you from Veera's journey though they are an integral part of it. Surely, Alia Bhatt cannot be blamed for that, her long (background-score-less!) shots in these scenes are something I haven't seen in a long time. The disconnect is more to do with how it's placed in the film. Individually, the scenes are great but when they run as a part of the story, they look like they've come out of the blue.
Similarly, even though Randeep Hooda has done a wonderful job with his brooding, disgruntled, helpless, contract killer Mahaveer, the chemistry is missing as a couple. Maybe this disjointed chemistry is intentional, they are an unlikely couple - a hooligan from a village and a city-bred, rich girl belonging to a well-known and powerful family. Yet, for a romance to kick in, for you to root for it and not the individual characters, you need to believe they are in love with each other - this is missing in Highway.
Highway's beauty, along with the mesmerizing landscapes and minimal use of background music (and lovely folklore when it is used), is its pace. It is slow and keeps you engaged. It builds up piece by piece and the individual characters grow on you gradually. But, such pace is not everyone's cup of tea. I would really love to see the film once again without the cackling from the audience. Interestingly though, the audience is paying enough attention to laugh out loud at some of the brilliant one-liners and is equally attentive when the intense "social message" scenes come on.
It is likely that Imtiaz Ali, the writer might have wanted to focus on the message while keeping it wrapped in a warm yet emotionally violent story. But it is the other message that charmed me better. It is not new, it is not profound, but it held me glued - that freeing your spirit can show you how you are in charge and yet, to free your spirit, you need to take charge.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Subhash K. Jha, Apun Ka Choice : ...Is this really a film? Or is it a poem that spills out metres of magnificence in a road journey where you measure life's worth not in years, but in kilometers.... full review
Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ... sum it all, for many it might be less than what Imtiaz managed to achieve in his ROCKSTAR. But for few others it would be just equivalent to an enriching journey with many worth relishing moments in its more than two hours of duration... full review
Thumbs up, by Anjum Shabbir, Bolly Spice : ...Highway is great watch, probably just short of being a classic for reasons which we can’t quite put our finger on yet, but it will leave you astounded and amazed with both it’s narrative and performances... full review
Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Overall, Highway is a soul-stirring film that may not rake in the moolah at the box office, but will touch your heart. Watch it for Rahman’s fabulous compositions, brilliant performances and Anil Mehta’s camerawork.... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...The film's powerful, yet deliciously subtle script (Imtiaz Ali) attempts to break down the mental walls surrounding our perception and preconceived urban notions of safety, happiness and love ... full review
Thumbs up, by Janhavi Samant, Star Blockbuster : ...But what’s interesting is the chemistry Imtiaz Ali creates between his two protagonists – two sides of India, one obscenely privileged and cocooned and the other unimaginably downtrodden and exposed – the journey he puts them on and the power dynamics between the two ... full review
Thumbs up, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ...Highway is far far from flawless but it is perfect imperfections and phenomenal performance make this flim amust watch. Embark on this journey... full review
Thumbs up, by Gayatri Sankar, Zee News : ...Nonetheless, if you are looking forward to seeing a really hatke love story then ‘Highway’ is your destination. Assemble all your emotions and gear up to watch the film this weekend... full review
So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Unfortunately, with all this going for it plus an unpredictable ending, Highway cannot escape from the burden of its sketchy, incomplete feel... full review
So-So, cinemaah : ...Alia Bhatt’s performance makes Highway bearable—she throws herself into the part with sincerity, and in spite of the cuteness written into it, does not make Veera cloying... full review
So-So, Daily Bhaskar : ...A.R Rahman’s music comes with a guarantee of ‘super-hit’, but the maestro couldn’t deliver a soulful music this time. Music is a few notches above average, but it is not something which will stay in your playlist forever.... full review
So-So, by Khalid Mohamed, Deccan Chronicle : ...After 'Student of the Year', she’s a big girl now, and will hopefully be seen in more such demanding roles. Doubtlessly, Imtiaz Ali deserves the credit for extracting the strong performance, as much as he deserves the discredit for reducing Randeep Hooda into a grimacing machine... full review
So-So, by Vinayak Chakravorty, india today : ...If there is an element of the fragile about her beauty, Ali has tapped it well. While on Randeep, the man just gave the Bollywood hunk a rustic edge. His silent intensity makes up for the flaws in his character despite limited presence.... full review
So-So, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...Highway whips up all the ingredients required for an intriguing film but goes wrong as a whole. It is bold subject handled flimsily and doesn’t come close to believable... full review
So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...Watch it if you want to experience some good landscape on the big screen. - See more at: http://www.movietalkies.com/movies/reviews/20939/highway#sthash.ex37Cmmu.dpuf... full review
So-So, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...the movie has fantastic performances by its lead actors along with good concept and decent music attached to it. Still, ends up on a disappointing note due to its bland screenplay and weak story telling. Thus, would sum it up as this 'Highway' is a daring ride with some pot holes and seed breakers hampering the smooth ride... full review
So-So, by K N Gupta, SmasHits.com : ...The only saving grace is the Oscar winning divine music team of A R Rahman, Resul Pookutty and Amrit Pritam. There is definitely no ‘Rockstar’ magic in this film though... full review
Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...HIGHWAY is a triumph for Alia Bhatt, who delivers a marvelous performance. Also, what you carry home, besides Alia's winning performance, are the stunning visuals, especially towards the second hour.... full review
Thumbs down, by Vinod Talreja , Bollywood Life : ...Highway is just a holiday trip that is being narrated and nothing else. It’s your choice – if you wanna give it a miss or then go drive along this highway.... full review
Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Sound quality is excellent and the minimal background score fills-up a few of the gaps. Rahman’s folksy score also provides interim relief. But overall this is still a long-drawn out ya ‘r’wn!... full review
Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...The film - a brave experiment on Ali's part, who uses long stretches of silence, improv dialogues, and characters over plot to drive the narrative - doesn't necessarily work. It's meandering and indulgent in many parts, tiring you out well before it's over. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...I wanted more because it comes from a director who knows, or at least has known how to transfuse exuberance in love, and joy in sheer movement. ‘Highway’ is pretty but stagey.... full review
zoyajafri25: #Highway #Amazing #Mustwatch. Its a very good Movie. #Aliyabhatt you rocked preety lady..:*
Yepicurious: Loved Imtiaz Ali's, "Highway".
vineet_chugh: Highway hs bn seen & liked. It's nt a routine script n that's the best part. Characters stay with u after it ends. & Alia take a bow.
vinayak24: Highway must watch! #highway
VikasTexts: . @aliaa08 and @RandeepHooda - I don't have enough words to compliment your performance in highway. Actually I do- Perfect
VGLICIOUS_: Highway. Really really good movie.
tushar4agarwal: Highway! Definately a treat to watch! ;) @aliaa08 ma'am u hav proved ua acting this time! ;) #HatsOff! #Adorable #Cuteness #LoveYouMam :*
TUSHAR1Dfan: Kya yaar #highway khatam bhi ho gaaye Isko toh baar baar dekhne ka man kar raha hein .. AWESOME work @aliaa08 @RandeepHooda
TiredTroglodyte: Highway is so good that I drove out of the movie theatre.
thehearthrobb: Highway is fucking awesome! Imtiaz's best. And god I loved @aliaa08 in it. You gorgeously talented girl. *bows*
the_myrmidon: Highway was a bit lengthy, but the cinematography, message and @aliaa08 were super powerful!
Thamizh_terima: #Highway Good movie all the way..Fav scene is when Alia says I feel salt all over and Durgesh Kumar seconds it in his own way..was hilarious
tapanagkumar: Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt at their best in Highway. 100*
tahera_bhaiji: #Highway Vgood movie. Love the scenery, amazing views. @aliaa08 Felt every emotion n totally connected with u. @RandeepHooda love ur smile.
sweetdeepthiiii: Just watched the movie Highway in the theatre.❤BEST MOVIE❤ending made me cry. A.R RAHMAN= GREAT musician http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nyaD3aStCE&feature=youtu.be via @youtube
Susie_watterson: True detective is awesome. Mcconaughey is best. Highway is fantastic. Alia bhatt is oh so awesome again. #AmIDoingTwitterRight
sushetadas: Highway is a story which will stay with me for a long time ..
Surper88west: Loved Highway.... When journey is better than home and destination... Alia is totally surprise package, hats of to Imtiaz who did it again.
sivakothari: Highway dialogues awesome
SidraKhan_: Highway was such a good movie
shrutithakker: Imtiaz Ali does it yet again! Highway - A must see, a movie with a soul!!! Thank you @aliaa08 @RandeepHooda for the brilliant experience.
shreyam_ranjan: Highway is an phenomenal movie!Exceptional, I wish the journey never had ended @HighwayTheFilm #highway"
SaurabhSahay: Watched @HighwayTheFilm yesterday !! Awesome @aliaa08 @RandeepHooda Good watch #Highway. @aliaa08 work is great.
SandeepMote: An excellent film "Highway", do not forget.
sakshi_takkar: #Highway is a rare movie. You don't get to see cinema like this often. Watch it for cinematographic brilliance and Alia Bhatt
roshanabhishek: Loved #highway..that is exactly what I call filmaking..#respect
rayhaanking: Highway an awesome movie. Hats off to the team of the film!!!
raj_ardeshna: It's totally different from action and comedy that most of Bollywood movies used to... #Highway
rads: What a lovely sensitive movie #highway - fabulous acting and isn't se just plain adorable. :-)
prvsomani: very fresh kinda movie #Highway... loved it... awesum acting by @aliaa08.. u made a new fan
prabalgurung: A brilliant, courageous film dealt w such sensitivity #highway is a masterpiece. A must see. Congrats #imtiazali @RandeepHooda @aliaa08
pkamuneer: Imtias Ali -after jab we met good come back with another road trip movie #Highway
PBnrg: Watched Highway. Except for patchy editing, liked the movie.
pankajkomre: HIGHWAY is not a film its a magical journey ...loved it @aliaa08 is revolution more power to you girl
onlypulkit: #Highway is a great movie, Must watch by every one. This is the story, which tells the dirty part which happen in house.
noor_fatma: #highway movies awsoma (y)
NikhilBapat1: Watched highway.... one of the finest work by imtiaz ali. Alia bhat was just marvelous in her acting!! Randeep hooda as usual killed it!!
Neha_naomi: #Highway is a must watch for those who seek more than mere entertainment from a movie. Stunning performance by @aliaa08! Spellbound!
Neetu_Chandra: Watched #Highway yesterday.Thanks 2 #imtiazali for such a script.I did not miss his type of musical drama films as his lastssss :-) Nice
NathanBrimmer: Highway to Heaven in Heaven #NBCReboots
mihika_shenoy: Highway!!! What an amazing movie!!! Beautiful scenes and story!!! Loved it❤❤❤❤ @aliaa08 @RandeepHooda
MalavikaVaradan: Highway swallowed me whole.Just sat in my chair staring,till after the credits rolled. Overwhelmed and teary eyed. @RandeepHooda @aliaa08
mail2vinuu: Highway ! perfect weekend movie . Watch it for the beautiful Alia and some amazing cinematography
Madhurimmatuli: HIGHWAY!!! What a FILM!! Imtiaz Ali and @aliaa08 you have taken this film industry to a completely different level.. Loved Loved Loved It!!
MaaNey: Interval #highway ...I LOVE IT!!! Excellent @aliaa08!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lovelygoyal7: Awesome Movie with wonderful message, Must Watch, Superb Alia.loved her acting. full review: http://lovelygoyal7.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/highway/ @aliaa08 @RandeepHooda
kunaljp: Highway takes you on a beautiful journey full of breathtaking locales & top-class acting. It has something that other movies don't - soul
kapil9994: #Highway is a good movie :-) alia & huda both did very good work... specially language of movie amazing :-)
kanan003: Still cant get over of thoughts of #Highway . What a masterpiece . Lots of love @aliaa08
JPWall: An homage to the open road: #Highway is as close to a perfect film as I've ever seen. @MindBlowingFilm @aliaa08 @RandeepHooda #Hindi
JhallaWalla: Highway: Beautiful story #MustSee
jahanbakshi: A couple of minor problems (and the bad part is they are all so easily avoidable)... But still, loved HIGHWAY. Easily Imtiaz's strongest.
Inacio_011: The amazing two hour drive along the highway #sunday #morning #bliss
IchhedanaPakhi: #Highway is not getting out of my head. It's a story that dint end in my mind,can't express,it's a strange feeling
Ian_HT: Drive was good. I felt meaningful and useful and it was mostly highway, which I enjoy.
IamVanshSolanki: Ek goli se ek admi mar jata h na.. "Ek nai Do, mrne wala or marne wala" #Highway i loved dis muvii so much n specially @aliaa08 So Beautiful
iamAnkurB: I dont think #Highway can be reviewed in words. It was a special film by Imtiaz Ali.
i_am_jaychauhan: Highway Real Superb Movie :D Too Much Loved it <3 @aliaa08 and @RandeepHooda Fab acting :) Already started to adore u @aliaa08 :p
Gulabo_: #Highway is such a brilliant movie. Loved the second half. It totally grows on you.Alia Bhatt has done a fab job. Music is pure bliss.
FariehaAziz: Watch #Highway. Sheer brilliance by Imtiaz Ali.And of course soundtrack by musical genius A.R.Rahman adds to it. Amazing handling of subject
Eigen_Function: Highway is a must watch.
DelhiKaGeezer: Loved #Highway. It's beautiful!
darshic: Loved Highway!! @aliaa08 is such a revelation! She and Northern India are the true stars!! Brilliant movie by Imtiaz Ali #Highway #movies
chiranthana: When i thought movies were getting boring. Met two new people on the "Highway" @aliaa08 and @RandeepHooda, fell in love with movies again..
ChhotaRecharge: Socha na tha and Jab we met are my all-time favorite movies. But they never converted me to an Imitiaz Ali fan. #Highway did that!
Brahmbear: Highway is such a good movie. But the soundtrack... Wow. @arrahman is God
Bhavin_Chand: Highway - Superb movie.. Randeep & Alia both of u class acts !! Loved a movie after looong ...
BharajRohan: You need to be really patient to watch a movie like #Highway . The feel of the movie is amazingly different. @aliaa08 @RandeepHooda hats-Off
being_rajkumar: #Highway is lovely movie. Love it.. So luvly story, I love especially Sambhar, Rajasthan Location.. @aliaa08
BBoxoffice: Make your Sunday beautiful .. ;-) Watch the journey of Veera in #Highway <3 #COOL_ADMIN https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=650144251689323
barshana09: Beautiful.. unusual nd heartwarming.. That is #Highway in a nutshell! Love love love.. #ImtiazAli u did it again!
ashwiniz: #Highway is NOT a film! Its an experience. We may have travelled like that before, seen all those roads before but never like this! I bet!
ashlaykamra1: Hey, highway is fab movie:/ u made far better Alia @aliaa08
anotherfanatic: #Highway... What a journey.
AnikaKhan_666: Watched #Highway and LOVED it @aliaa08
Amartya_Sanyal: Stunning range from Alia Bhatt. Hooda at his brooding best. Don't miss Highway
Alex_Rothers: Highway is THE BEST movie ever
Akshat_G: Had fun. #Highway movie. Must watch! Some really great scenes and a nice practical story line. Awesome acting by @aliaa08 and @RandeepHooda
aditi4shasha: #Highway is intense !
AddicTeD_AzhaR: so I watched #highway last ni8 nd yes Tatz great experience too :) good story :) randip,Aalya & Ali SAAB Di great _!_
AbhijitMahajan1: #Highway was a surprisingly good watch.. simple and pleasant..
aaryan0072: Highway is an amazing movie!Exceptional, I wish the journey never had ended @HighwayTheFilm #highway
aartikn: Amazed & stunned by the raw beauty of 'highway'. Kudos to @RandeepHooda and aalia. You guys r rockstars. Imtiaz ali truly redeems himself
aahana3: Highway is a mast mast mast watch!! Loved Alia and randeep n the journey! Thanks imtiaz for such a stunning experience!!
15n3quarters: #Highway touched me. Short, flawed, emotional, sad. Life.
_Hibakhan: IF YOU ARE BROWN (or not doesn't matter) GO WATCH THE MOVIE HIGHWAY IT IS SO GOOD
swaroopkaimal: Feels slightly strange when some guys say #Highway is Imtiaz Ali's best till date. Rockstar was much much more entertaining. Real too.
rastogi988: I think highway is not much good for a good cinema
abhilashlovesu: Highway Review: **1/2 Imitaz's brainchild Highway will go down as one of the disappointing flicks of 2014. He... https://www.facebook.com/abhilashlovesall/posts/10151974047809352
Tasawar7ayin: Sunday gad to go and watch Highway movie to ruined your day.
taniii___: I absolutely loved Alia's acting in 'Highway" but the movie was bogus.
Shveetis: The speed of the events in the movie is noway comparable to the speed limit on the #highway #superslow
sarcasmonaut: Highway. Overrated. That is all.
Parrkkerr: Highway is protracted, boring, pretentious, pale, over esteemed and it takes you nowhere. Imtiaz Ali is overrated.
mantikos: Whoever thinks #Highway is a good movie has no taste...none whatsoever - horrible acting, nonsensical story line just plain terrible
karthikp: #Highway most lame movie. Why is it rated well .. Ugh
jaytweetshah: Highway khaali hai. Hooda jungli hai. Alia bacchi hai. Boredom bhaari hai.
Discretevoice: Rahman dissapoints in #highway with poor background score. Such long streaks of silence in the movie. Makes the whole scene boring.
dipperr: Looking back, I don't remember hating #LoveAajKal this much and I warmed upto it eventually. #Highway, however, is horrible.
csyvian: Story of Highway was written keeping Salman khan in mind. [TotalNonSense]
AutobotSax: Meko #Highway k sirrf gaane achhe lage.. \[×_×]/ aur kuch bhi noi.. ÷_÷
Not Interested in Watching, by Diehard : Yet another instance of rampant plagiarism in Mumbai film industry
Want to Watch, by kapil : Expecting some good cinematography among others.
Nay! Thumbs Down, by landscaping ideas for front house : Pierrefitte-Sur-Seine
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.