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!