A story of a rich city girl Veera Tripathy (a very impresive Alia Bhatt) who is out on a late night drive with her fiancee, is accidentally caught in a gangster shootout and abducted by Mahabir Bhaati (Randeep Hooda), a criminal gangster with a rough and tough exterior, who quickly takes her away in his truck onto the highway away from the city.
Veera and Mahabir- two strangers, who carry a lot of excess baggage from their past, are forced to spend time together and as circumstances take them from city to the villages on the desolate highway, they open up to each other en route. In a pre-interval stand-out central scene, Veera confesses to Mahabir about her past (brings out goosebumps in you!) and then things between the two change forever. The two disturbed individuals find redemption and salvation which sets them free (the tagline of the movie becomes clear: “In bondage, she found freedom.”) A poignant reminder is made by Mahabir that freedom isn’t always an option.
The obvious star of the movie is no doubt the gorgeous and amazingly shot landscapes of various locations in India- the desert, the fields, the mountains, the rivers- all extremely goreous visuals (looks very familiar to Pakistan!). However, the surprise stars of the movie are both Bhatt and Hooda- I forgot I was watching these two actors, but rather watching the story of Veera and Mahabir! (Alia Bhatt does falters at times, but this being her second movie, she is absolutely stunning and brave! Credit to Imtiaz Ali, the director, for fleshing out great characters!)
This is not to say it’s a flawless movie- the movie wavers a little from realism to Bollywood hokum; there are a few moments which could have been eliminated (an uneccesary western dance scene) and ending could have been more tight, but these flaws are not majorly distracting in front of a grand movie with deep themes.
Also, the brilliant soundtrack by A.R Rehman deserves a mention. He never fails to stir up emotions through the power of his music! (Pataka Guddi and Mahi Ve are amazing songs!)
After Dedh Ishqiya, Highway is a brilliant movie coming out from Bollywood! I’d rather watch this movie rather than nonsensical movies like Dhoom 3!