Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A rare emotional bonding between a man and a girl in Highway

For a 20-year-old Alia Bhatt has showed compelling acting prowess in Imtiaz Ali-directed Highway. There are some bad turns in the story but the acting is good and the cinematography excellent. You get the feel of the landscape at every point and that is a rare thing in Hindi movies.
The tender emotional bonding between an older kidnapper Mahabeer played quite well by Randeep Hooda and the young girl Veera from a well-off middle class family played superbly by Alia forms the thread of the story. The act of kidnapping recedes into the background or that Veera comes with psychological scars because of child abuse she was subjected to by her uncle. Yes. The deprivation of Mahabeer and the trauma of Veera make for the chemistry between the two. But their personal agonies do not matter when Veera grows less fearful of the gruff man and he cannot resist being tamed by the emotional demands of the youngster.
Director Ali seems to let the relationship flower and the two get into a great romantic -- it is more than can be imagined in the traditional romance -- equation which remains emotionally tense and beautifully idealistic. With her trauma, she should have been hating all men. She does not. As a matter of fact, she finds solace in the strength of the man. And he shows his need for a woman's love, not the love of a superior experienced and empathetic woman but the innocent love of a trusting young girl.

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