I love A R Rahman. He is the man behind much of this film. The sound, score, music are just wonderful.
I am not a big fan of the director Imtiaz Ali. I disliked his "Jab We Met" and I liked "Rockstar" only for Rahman's music and Ranbir's acting. In "Highway" too though Rahman speaks so much with his music but Imtiaz under utilized the songs than their full potential. Yet, I liked the film and indeed is a much better film than Imtiaz's earlier ones. In first half there are only 2 tracks and the remaining tracks come in the second half. This created a kind of imbalance and I wish they could have been spanned out well.
Soulful songs like "Patakha Guddi" and "Maahi Ve" got me hooked to the music of the film and made me wait or this. It's very rare that I see a Rahman's film in theatres coz I am very apprehensive how his music will be used. Barring, Roja, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Bombay, Taal and a few others, his music was used with incongruous visuals and that makes me feel sad for the genius of Rahman. In Highway, the light lilting lullaby of "Sooha Saha" was well used and the extremely philosophical "Heera" was wasted.
Apart from music, the second best thing was cinematography. Wow, was the expression for the way few locales were shot. The water flow, the clouds on mountains, the valleys, the snow capped himalayas. It was serene and beautiful. It was like a cheap vacation we had. A wonderful road trip was made with camera that spanned few states.
Now, what about plot and story, there is hardly trace of a strong story or a big plot. Yet, there are characters, unreal Veera played by Alia Bhatt and more unreal Mahabir played by Randeep Hooda. Alia does give a wonderful performance that is nuanced well and indeed at times she goes full throttle. Like in a break dancing scene. Damn, that was too good. While, Randeep as Mahabir gave a poised performance with a great Haryana accent. Imtiaz for sure has extracted great performances from their actors.
The pace is too slow and hardly something happens finally. Yet, it's an endearing story that spits on the hypocrisy of the society in a very subtle way. There a few philosophical moments too which are far off but well toned.
A 4/5 for this and I am sure many would not like it as they would be expecting some story, some plot and something to happen. But, as nothing much happened, I gave a wow to this. This is more like poetry than a novel. And I love poetry so, thus my love for this.