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Freedom in captivity !

Was a pleasure watching, HIGHWAY………another movie from Imtiaz Ali, the maker of Jab we Met, and on a similar on the run theme. The story revolves around the kidnapping of a girl and is based on the concept of Stockholm Syndrome, a mental state wherein the captive falls in love with the kidnapper.

The movie has just two main characters, a young, innocent, sweet and slightly immature daughter of a multimillionaire, played superbly by Alia Bhat and her kidnapper, excellently enacted by Randeep Hooda. The girl is unintentionally kidnapped by a small time Jat goonda, and once he comes to know the identity of the girl and the power of her father, he gets on the run with her. The kidnapped girl, who has been brought up in the comforts of wealth in a protected environment with plenty of restrictions, enjoys the nature’s beauty, the tension free life in the hide outs and the newly found freedom with the kidnapper and when she finds that he is not the type to take advantage of her and rather protects her from another guy, who tries to misbehave and get physical, she falls in love with him. She shares her fears and life with him and discloses how she had been regularly sexually exploited since childhood to this day, by a senior member of the family, and no one came to her rescue even when she told her mother, to protect the name of the family and business. The girl chooses a small hutment on a hill in Himanchal as her dream house where she wants to settle down with the kidnapper as her man but the police trace them and shoot him dead. She evolves as a brave girl from this experience and refuses to return to her lavish life full of sham and hypocrisy.

Even the simple story has been presented in a very enthralling manner with spontaneity, flow and speed. The screenplay is natural and dialogues appropriate and impressive. The selection of locales is superb creating a very soothing ambience and this is aptly contributed by masterly cinematography. What enhances the power of the movie is the realism and authenticity in the locations, dressing, dialect and the complete presentation. The back ground score of A R Rehman has added a Sufiana touch to the movie and his music and songs are enchanting including a number each ,beautifully sung by Rehman and Alia themselves. Randeep Hooda has displayed a high standard of acting bringing out the character of a hariyanwi jaat realistically with convincing looks and dialogue delivery. But the real credit goes to Alia Bhatt, who has done wonderful acting, keeping in mind that she is just one movie old. Alia has excellently succeeded in portraying the character of an insecure, timid, innocent, fun loving girl  desperate to break the chains of family traditions and social norms that have kept her caged since childhood and loves her newly found freedom in captivity .Imtiaz Ali has once again proved his directional abilities to create a good movie.

Highway is a good, simple, clean, soft movie, worth a watch for all cine lovers

Sanjay Kapoor ,Delhi

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