(Thanks to SI Blog reader rvasam who first alerted me to the lift)
Let’s get to the big question right away.
Is Bollywood film Highway a lift of the 1994 Hollywood movie The Chase?
The short answer – Yes, to a significant, unignorable, inexcusable, unpardonable degree.
There are far too many similarities between Highway and The Chase to be dismissed as mere coincidence.
Imtiaz Ali claims to have “written and directed” the Bollywood film Highway.
I will throw a sop to the Bollywood Cerberus and concede that Highway is directed by Imtiaz Ali.
But “written” by Imtiaz Ali?
Now, that’s a delusion so bizarre it can only be matched by yours truly claiming to be Alexander the Great!
Don’t make me laugh, kiddo.
Highway director Imtiaz Ali is a shameless thief and Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda are his two accomplices in crime.
In retrospect, I should have been more Argus-eyed with Imtiaz Ali.
Remember how the hit song Yeh Ishq Hai in his 2007 film Jab We Met was stolen from Anggun’s Etre Une Femme.
Imtiaz Ali is like a car thief who after purloining a two-decade-old jalopy paints it in a different color, changes the license plates, rolls back the odometer, sprays some car freshener and peddles it as new.
In short, Imtiaz Ali has stolen the plot of The Chase and Indianized it as Highway.
Also, keep in mind that Highway producer Sajid Nadiadwala is a big-time criminal who stole the plot of the French film Trois hommes et un couffin (Hollywood version: Three Men and a Baby) and regurgitated it as Heyy Babyy (Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan).
Highway – My Anguish
Rarely do I like a Bollywood movie.
Most Indian movies are unwatchable trash made by talentless scumbags for the viewing pleasure of degenerate philistines.
So when a SI blog reader mentioned last night that the new Bollywood movie Highway, one that I greatly loved, was lifted from the Hollywood film The Chase I found myself in deep anguish. Almost, in extremis!
Oh, not again, I told myself!
I wanted to find out if Highway was one more instance of Bollywood dickheads overcoming their poverty of imagination by stealthily stooping to deep-throat Hollywood.
And I decided the best way to determine if Highway is the nullius filius of The Chase was to see it for myself rather than rely on hearsay.
A short while ago, I completed watching The Chase and here’s my considered verdict.
Too Many Similarities – No Coincidence
Here are a whole bunch of damning similarities between Highway (2014) and the two-decade old Hollywood film The Chase (1994):
1. In both films, the basic backdrop, against which all other events happen, is the kidnapping of a young girl.
2. In both films, the kidnapping happens without intent, meaning that the crime is not planned.
3. In both films, the kidnapping happens as a result of another crime (in Highway while Mahabir is fleeing after attacking a gas-station and in The Chase when Jackson Hammond, a prison escapee, panics after the police question him about the car he’s stolen).
4. In both films, the kidnapping happens at a gas station.
5. In both films, the kidnapper is unaware he is snatching a girl from an extremely wealthy family.
6. In both films, the kidnapping is believed by outsiders to have been done for ransom though money is not the original intent. Continue reading »