HIGHWAY: Movie Review

After Siddharth Malhotra it is time for another student from Karan Johar’s camp to make her second movie release. So this week Alia Bhatt comes back on screen with Imtiaz Ali’s HIGHWAY a year and a half from her debut movie STUDENT OF THE YEAR.

HIGHWAY is the story of two scarred characters who by a twist of destiny come together to take a journey with no destination. In a scene Alia Bhatt’s character mouths a dialogue where she says that she does not want to go back to her world nor does she want to reach the destination of the journey but still she is enjoying the journey and that I believe in a nutshell Imtiaz wants to show on the screen and I must tell you he has done it to great extent.

Like few reviewers commented that HIGHWAY as a movie is glorifying kidnapping and many people would like to get kidnapped only for an experience shown in the movie. However I must say that this is just a story of a character called Veera (Alia) who gets kidnapped accidentally a day before her wedding night by another character Mahabir Bhatti (Randeep), so passing a statements saying the movie glorifies kidnapping is wrong and out of character for most of the reviewers.

Now coming to the plot, Alia is a character who is brought up in a well to do family that believes in showing a happy picture to the outside world while keeping their ugly secrets under the carpet. She feels trapped in her own house whereas Randeep’s character is someone who carries wounds from his childhood. He has not had a comfortable or happy childhood and he is haunted by the memories of his mother’s miseries who was his only consolation.

So when these two scarred characters from two different strata of society meet and connect with each other over their insecurities and sorrows, thats when love blossoms. They want to be there for each other and lead an existence away from their two distinctive worlds for few days.

The story is very emotional and Imtiaz has tried to tell it with utmost conviction but he falters at few places however they are just mere speed breakers in the beautiful journey shown across  6 states. I wouldn’t call HIGHWAY as Imtiaz’s most accomplished works but I would say this movie had its soul in the right place.

Considering that it is her second movie Alia has grown leaps and bounds as an actor and HIGHWAY will be her career turning movie like what JAB WE MET did to Kareena’s. Her child like innocence in the earlier reels and then the emotional break down she goes through during the last reels of the movie gives her an unique chance to play a character with a great graph and doing justice to such a character that too in her second movie is a praiseworthy thing.

Randeep Hooda is first rate in his subdued and brooding character. In the entire movie we see him smiling in one sequence when Alia Bhatt comes searching for him after they get separated and that scene shows how his character is also wanting her to be around him and more than her it is he who needs her. The chemistry between the two actors is good and you feel from them.

Unlike Imtiaz’s previous movies HIGHWAY has a lot of moments where silence and ambient noise in the surrounding play an important role. The background score is minimal and the music by AR Rahman is in sync with the theme of the movie. Especially ‘Pataka Guddi’, ‘Tu Kuja Man Kuja’ and ‘Sooha Saha’ sung by Alia Bhatt.

The cinematographer Anil Mehta captures the beautiful scenery wonderfully and gives a portrait like quality to each and every scene. The supporting actors are quite good and enact their roles efficiently. Editing could have been crisper in few scenes but overall Aarti Bajaj does a great job.

On the whole don’t go with an expectation to see a Jab We Met or a Love Aaj Kal just go to watch Highway with an open mind and I am sure you will not be disappointed.

MY VERDICT: *** Good Watch!

Movie Review: Hasee Toh Phasee

Hasee Toh Phasee this week’s Pre-Valentine’s Day release is a sweet rom-com coming out of Karan Johar’s stables but this time he is accompanied by Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films as co-producer.

The movie is Siddharth Malhotra’s second outing after Student Of The Year and I must tell you, in his second movie he seems more confident and delivers what is given to him. However the surprise packet in this movie is Parineeti Chopra who holds the movie altogether on her tender shoulders. This will be a milestone movie in both Parineeti and Siddharth’s careers.

Now coming to the plot, Meeta (Parineeti) is a quirky character who runs away on the night of her elder sister’s marriage where she briefly meets Nikhil (Siddharth). Nikhil meets Karishma (Adah Sharma) in the same wedding who coincidentally is again Meeta’s sister and soon they fall in love.

The movie moves seven years ahead and we see Nikhil getting ready to get married to Karishma. Meeta who was in China comes back to India however she is kept hidden from her family members by Nikhil and Karishma.

In the seven days of the marriage celebrations, Nikhil and Meeta come closer and they fall in love. So what is the reason for Meeta to run away from India in the first place and why she is kept hidden from her own family are things one discover during the course of the movie. Moreover the narrative is such that the audience is kept hanging to know if Nikhil and Meeta get together or not in the end.

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/9WlczCe16Ao&source=udsThe movie by debutant director Vinil Mathew is a feel good story and will definitely click with the younger generation. Vinil is good with his direction and he is able to do complete justice to the story and screenplay written by Harshavardhan Kulkarni. The music by Vishal-Shekhar is quite catchy especially ‘Zehanaseeb’, ‘Bulava’, ‘Punjabi Wedding’ and ‘Drama Queen’. The cinematography by Sanu John Varughese is good.

Performances as pointed out by me in the beginning by both Siddharth and Parineeti is first rate. In the supporting cast Manoj Joshi, Neena Kulkarni, Adah Sharma, Sharat Saxena and Jageesh Mukati shine out also the guy who keeps on singing Anu Malik songs is quite hilarious. On the whole the movie is quite entertaining and paisa vasool. At the box office the movie will be a winner as multiplex audience will definitely enjoy watching this fare dished out by Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Vikas Bahl.

My Verdict: *** Good 🙂

Philomena: Movie Review

 After a long wait I was able to watch Stephen Frears ‘Philomena’ starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan based on a book by Martin Sixsmith titled “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee”. This is one movie in years that made me wait impatiently for all these days after just hearing a one liner and seeing the poster. The movie tells the true story of Philomena Lee’s 50-year-long search for her son who was taken away from her and given for adoption by the Roscrea Convent Nuns. The story is a heart wrenching saga which makes you smile and moist eyed at the same time.

The plot of the story starts with a 70 year old Philomena (Judi Dench) lighting a candle in her Catholic church and remembering her son Anthony. On being asked by her daughter the reason for her being sad she confesses for the first time about her son Anthony who was taken away from her 50 years back as she was an unwed mother. The child was adopted by a family and she was not able to find her child even after several visits to the convent who kept on sending her back assuring her of finding and informing her the details.

Her daughter is leaving for work catering at a party where she overhears Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), one of the guests, mentioning that he is a journalist and she approaches him to see if he will report on the scandalous story she has just learned of from her mother. Although he initially scorns human interest stories – and the daughter herself, he needs work as he lost his job recently as a Labour government adviser. He finds an editor who is a potential new employer for him who wants him to get human interest stories to be employed. Martin has second thoughts the next day and meets Philomena and her daughter, and they start to investigate what had become of her son.

The long search that starts from Roscrea takes both Philomena and Martin to Washington and then back to Roscrea where the story started and ended.

The movie is a fine piece of heart that will make you feel for a mother who has lost her child fifty years back and who is still hopeful of finding him one day. Judi Dench gives a very heartfelt performance as Philomena and she is ably supported by Steve Coogan. The screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope is wonderful and has got a lot of recognition worldwide. The cinematography by Robbie Ryan is beautiful and so is the background music by Alexandre Desplat.

This is a must watch movie for every cinema lover who loves to see a wonderful story with great performances.

My Verdict:**** A must watch!!!