Highway – Delightful Bollywood Aberration

Highway – Highway Robbery of The Chase

I steered on to the Highway (Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda) with much trepidation this evening.

This Alia Bhatt creature (heroine of Highway) was completely alien to me.

And given my utter contempt for supremely untalented Indian ‘star children’ (Abhishek Bachchan, Zayed Khan, Fardeen Khan, Tusshar Kapoor, Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha etc), I had abysmal expectations from Alia Bhatt (daughter of Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt and actress Sonia Razdan).

Boy, did Alia surprise me and prove my fears to be entirely unfounded.

Alia and her new film Highway turned out to be one of those rare Indian movie aberrations – a talented young actress headlining a pleasing Bollywood film.

I had to pinch myself repeatedly throughout the film to assure myself I was not dreaming!

Highway (directed by Imtiaz Ali) already seems to be benefiting from positive word of mouth.

At a theatre on the East Coast, the hall was over 60% full for the evening show Friday!

Long Road – Many Changes

Veera Tripathy (Alia Bhatt), daughter of a wealthy businessman, is scheduled to get married to a rich boy in a few days.

But with the hectic wedding preparations, countless guests, and endless rituals, the young girl finds the atmosphere at home suffocating.

As a respite, Veera quietly skips out of the house for a late night drive with her fiancee.

Minutes into the drive, they stumble into a gas station hold-up by a criminal gang led by Mahabir Bhatti (Randeep Hooda).

While fleeing, the criminals kidnap Veera without realizing she’s the daughter of a billionaire whose enormous wealth and connections to top police officers and politicians could doom them.

With the kidnapping, the movie goes into top gear taking us on a lengthy road trip in a dilapidated truck that ends in the snowy peaks of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir.

The photography on the long road trip that transports the two main characters from the plains to the desert, salt flats, verdant fields and finally into the snowy mountains is an eye-pleaser, again a rara avis in Hindi films.

It’s not merely the topography that changes along the long road trip.

Director Imtiaz Ali uses the lengthy trip to showcase how the two main characters change along the trip.

Veera at the beginning of the road trip is an agitated, scared girl and her kidnapper Mahabir is a violent ruffian who wouldn’t think twice before slapping her, trussing her up and forcefully dragging her along into the hinterlands in a rickety truck in hopes of a rich ransom.

But by the end of the journey, both Veera and Mahabir are a far cry from their earlier selves. More so, after Veera discloses to Mahabir some of the unspeakable horrors of her childhood .

What happens between the two on the long road trip?

That they get close is a certainty. But how so?

Stockholm Syndrome? Love? Affection? Friendship?

Take your pick! πŸ˜‰

A.R.Rehman’s music (particularly Patakha Guddi) compounds the charm.

Fine Acting

On the acting front, I found the movie a joy.

With Highway, 21-year-old Alia Bhatt has arrived as an actress on the Bollywood stage.

Carrying the film on her svelte shoulders, Alia makes chutney of the gaggle of Bollywood witches Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Sonam Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha whose sole raison d’Γͺtre is to torment us at frequent intervals.

Randeep Hooda doesn’t say much in the film.

But the man is a master of expressions and says so much even when he speaks so little.

What a shame we don’t see him more often on the big screen.

The last 25-minutes of the film brings out the best in both Alia and Randeep. Great pair, solid chemistry!

Besides the two main actors, the lesser characters played by Durgesh Kumar, Pradeep Nagar and Saharsh Kumar Shukla also shine.

Absolute Delight

Right from the beginning, we know there won’t be a happy ending and the two prime characters themselves openly discuss that nothing but ruin awaits them around the corner.

The Bollywood road is invariably dotted with countless potholes and for once it was a treat for us to experience a smooth drive on a road less taken.

To my immense delight, I did not find a single gauche moment in Highway!

SearchIndia.com is mighty pleased to recommend Highway to all lovers of good cinema.

Highway is playing in theaters across America.

Related Highway Posts:
Highway – Highway Robbery of The Chase

26 Responses to "Highway – Delightful Bollywood Aberration"

  1. Vinith   February 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm


    I’ve always liked this track from Slumdog Millionaire.

    But this is the first time I’m listening to it with my headphones.

    Loving it.


    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    I purchased the CD many years back…must look for it. Overall, nice music.

    But this is not one of my favorite tracks from the movie.

    • Vinith   February 23, 2014 at 3:09 am

      My favorite is Latika’s theme. That’s the best of the lot in my opinion.

  2. Vinith   February 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm


    Good to know that at least Bollywood has some talent.

    I’m planning on watching Kahaani tonight. It’s on NFLX.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Kahaani Review by SIhttp://www.searchindia.com/2012/03/09/kahaani-review-superb

  3. rvasam   February 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Sounds like a complete copy of the Charlie Sheen & Kristy Swanson’s Hollywood flick “The Chase” !!!

    Sounds familiar w/ the Bollywood chutiyas ???

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    OMG, I’m shattered. πŸ™

    rvasam, I just poured myself a large Bloody Mary after reading your comment!

    I just logged into my Netflix account and searched for The Chase (Alas, no streaming, only on DVD)!

    And this is what I found in the Netfix blurb:

    Wrongfully accused of bank robbery, Jack Hammond (Charlie Sheen) is sentenced to life in prison. But instead of going to jail, he chooses to run from the law. To outpace the cops, he kidnaps an unsuspecting girl (Kristy Swanson) and takes her fast car. But it just so happens that she’s the daughter of one of the state’s richest residents (Ray Wise) — and her daddy will do everything he can to get her back.

    Hello, Should I kill myself?????

    Please somebody tell me! πŸ™

    • rvasam   February 23, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Sorry SI πŸ™‚ πŸ™

      The bigger tragedy is day after day, Bollywood chutiyas cheat the unsuspecting public w/ this with no remorse.

      If indeed the original movie makers really cared for this plagiarism, there would have been millions of lawsuits leaving the so called Bollywood cesspool bankrupt.

      BTW, this film was shamelessly screened even in the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      I’m going to sign up for Netflix DVD (currently, I subscribe to only Netflix streaming) and if Highway is NOT a copy of the The Chase I will not only delete your registration but Block Your IP from ever accessing the glorious SI Blog.

      Comprende? πŸ™

      Alas, The Chase is not in Hulu Plus (which I also subscribe to).

    • rvasam   February 23, 2014 at 12:10 am

      BTW, this is funny, The Chase itself is a remake from the 1955 movie The Fast and the Furious.


      But I’m sure The Chase producers were decent enough to give credits to the original one.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Sweetie, I just signed up for Netflix DVD plan as well (in addition to my current Netflix streaming subscription).

      I should get The Chase DVD on Tuesday.

      And as I said earlier, if Highway is not a copy of the The Chase I will not only delete your registration but Block your IP as well for providing me inaccurate information.

      But if Highway is a copy of the The Chase, I will sing your paeans! πŸ™‚

      • rvasam   February 23, 2014 at 2:08 am

        Dear SI, why do you want to wait till Tuesday. It is freely available on youtube:


        BTW, I will miss you if you block me… πŸ™‚ :(, but i love your blog so much that i have a work around to be back πŸ™‚

        Sweet dreams….

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        You write: I will miss you if you block me… but i love your blog so much that i have a work around to be back

        They say nothing gives an Indian parent more pride than to see his/her children more crooked than the parent. So I suppose from that perspective I should feel happy. πŸ˜‰

    • ravinternet   February 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Wow. Impressive find.

      I have never heard of this movie.

      20 years old, abysmal Rotten Tomatoes rating.

      rvasam must be quite the (bad?) movie connoisseur.

      Imtiaz must have thought that he can get away with this.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      You write: Imtiaz must have thought that he can get away with this.

      What world do you live in?

      Imtiaz will get away with it.

      Show me one Indian filmmaker who’s gotten into deep-shit because of stealing.

      For Indian filmmakers, stealing is par for the course.

      • rvasam   February 25, 2014 at 6:55 pm

        The so called bad movies of Hollywood which fall into B and C grade are infinitely better than the shamelessly copied “A” grade Bollycrap (especially after coming to know they have been lifted !!).

        Hmm, let’s see for starters, which of those “A” grade Bollywood movies are indeed original.

        Lemme use SI’s top 10 B.O list in the same order:

        Answer is None πŸ™‚ πŸ™

        1) Dhoom 3 — copied from multiple movies (Now you see me, Torque, Prestige, Dark Knight, Illusionist, etc). Well done Aamir Khan

        2) Chennai Express – For a change, some of the scenes have been lavishly copied from Desi blockbusters including Okkadu and Kannada blockbuster Mungaru male.

        3) Jab tak hai Jaan – inspired and copied from Gossip Girl and End of the Affair

        4) Talaash – some scenes entirely lifted from Gothika and others inspired by The Sixth Sense, Al Pacino’s Insomnia,and the novel An Act of Providence by Joseph Payne Brennan and Donald M. Grant

        5) Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – passes the plagiarism test in the story line, but many songs have been directly lifted from Ozzy Osbourne’s Dreamer album

        6) Ek Tha Tiger – Copied pretty much from “London Boulevard”

        7) Ram Leela – story, premise and even the poster have been copied from an American TV soap opera named “Revenge”

        8) Agneepath – well, copied from Agneepath, which in turn was lifted from Al Pacino’s Scarface.

        9) Barfi – the less said the better. You are all the jude on the amount of plagiarism this has …..

        10) Dabbang 2 – inspired and copied from Flash Point
        May we say more? πŸ™‚ πŸ™

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Have you seen these movies or is it all hearsay??

        Do you see Hinds films or is your movie watching restricted exclusively to Tollywood?

        Some guys named Allu Arjun, Ram Teja and Brahmanandam are shaking up the Telugu film industry I hear! πŸ˜‰

        I have a bunch of Telugu films I should get to.

        • rvasam   February 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

          I’ve seen….some Sandalwood movies. πŸ™

          I haven’t seen a lot of those originals (seen a few), but found out thru some research. However, w.r.t Highway, the moment i read a few sentences of it’s review (and especially the stockholm syndrome keyword), it immediately reminded me of “The Chase” since i had thoroughly enjoyed that movie.

          In Tollywood (if you mean Telugu), the only 2 words i know are Pumpichtanu and champistanu πŸ™‚

          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          You write: I’ve seen most of the Bollycrap movies in that list, and some Sandalwood movies.

          I’ve seen very few Sandalwood movies…the ones I’ve seen are outrageously bad – Sose Thanda Sowbhagya (Good Fortune brought by Daughter-in-Law), Seetha-Ramu…

          Seetha Ramu Plot – Shankar Nag dies of injuries sustained in a fight and his girl friend Manjula goes mad upon hearing the news. So Shankar Nag’ Doctor friend Togudeepu Srinivas exhumes Shankar Nag’s body, removes his brain and implants it into Manjula’s head. Soon Manjula wakes up, talks like Shankar Nag, behaves like Shankar Nag and, better still, starts fighting like Shankar Nag. πŸ˜‰

          Here’s one good Sandalwood movie on SI – Nagarahaavuhttp://www.searchindia.com/2009/07/23/naagarahaavu-tragedy-par-excellence

          • rvasam   February 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm

            Yes, “NaagaraHaavu” and many others directed by Puttanna Kanagal are par excellence.

            Very deep and can hit you in your heart / soul, and ORIGINAL.

            Some really good Sandalwood movies i can recommend are in this list:


            And, of course, there are a few really enjoyable commercial movies w/ Rajkumar, Anantnag, Ramesh Arvind and Vishnuvardhan.

            And for those who are really into raw punch dialogues w/ a pinch of comedy can resort to Jaggesh movies. πŸ™‚

            SearchIndia.com Responds:

            Is this the Greatest Kannada Romantic Song!

            Getting hold of Kannada film DVDs, particularly old ones, is hard in the U.S.

            I’ll ask someone to get all the Puttana films in your list from Mera Bharat Mahaan.

          • rvasam   February 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

            Try totalkannada.com for a comprehensive list of movies. They even have cash on delivery option.

            That’s one really good song, but there are many more w/ the likes of music directors including Rajan Nagendra, G K Venkatesh, Hamsa lekha and more recently Gurukiran for some catchy songs.

            70’s thru 90’s was the best in Kannada movie industry in terms of movies, music and originality.

            SearchIndia.com Responds:

            Thanks for the link.

      • rvasam   February 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm

        Indeed. Bollycrap film makers cannot even design original posters, let alone the scenes and story πŸ™


        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Funny! πŸ˜‰

    • MadAtBollywood   February 25, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      The unsuspecting SI got ambushed by the bollywood bozos, ha ha ha πŸ˜€ (devil)

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Kaliyug is teaching me many hard lessons! πŸ™

      As I wrote in the post, the next time an Indian movie turns out to be good my only response will be – Where did the Chutiyas Steal this From?

  4. Naveen   February 22, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Howdy SI… from Chennai

    Next time if you watch a good Indian movie then title it as a shameless theft of something.

    You can replace “something” with the actual name after your wise readers enlighten you. πŸ™‚

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Hello Sweetie! How ya doing?

    Tragedy….rvasam’s comment (above)!! πŸ™

    BTW, Please review/write something of interest from Chennai.

    (You have no idea how much effort it took to type the above without typos in my hopelessly sloshed state) πŸ˜‰

    • Naveen   February 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      Definitely! I see road side temple has a big JJ cutout insuring its non-demolition πŸ™‚

      Interested in restaurant reviews?

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      SI is interested in both interesting pictures (with some hilarious descriptions like the roadside temple JJ cutout you mention above) ) & some Restaurant reviews.

      Sweetie, should I PayPal you $50 while I’m sill insober? πŸ˜‰

      BTW, how’s the Internet Connection in Chennai compared to the 50Mbps download connection we get here in the U.S. of A!

      Please see comments in below story – ….looks like download speed is still pitiful in India!


      • Naveen   February 23, 2014 at 12:37 am

        Pay me after I deliver the reviews/pics.

        I don’t know about the rest of the city but internet at my home is pretty good.

        I am able to work remote, watch youtube and do Facetime/skype with good clarity.

        I don’t download movies/music but I am pretty sure it works great because I am aware of a few people who download like crazy and they have several full hard drives!

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        You write: I am able to work remote, watch ….do Facetime/skype

        Don’t tell me you abandoned your worthless Windows Phone like that Cadillac and embraced the iPhone 5S????! πŸ˜‰

        (BTW, did you get the new key iPhone update….I haven’t yet but will get it now for my 5S)

        Being a Contrarian is not always a virtue! πŸ˜‰

        Rumor has it, SI, even while drunk, is more sober than most readers! πŸ˜‰

        • Naveen   February 23, 2014 at 1:17 am

          My lovely Windows Phone’s screen shattered after it took sufficient abuse from my family.

          I was not upgrade eligible and wasn’t interested in spending a fortune for any new phone and I was seriously considering switching back to “feature” phones.

          Like a savior, a good friend gave his used iPhone 4s to me because he was going to upgrade to 5S and that is the story of how I ended up with an iPhone.

          Needless to say that iPhone is very good but I can’t say I was surprised or found anything unique about it. Probably because I have used other smart phones and all the features are kind of expected now.

          I do find the small screen size annoying for my fat fingers. The touch sensitivity, camera quality and battery life is definitely inferior to Nokia. However, the ability to use Google maps, which is far superior to Nokia’s HERE, is a big plus and so is the superior youtube app.

          I am not anti-apple or pro-windows/android but I am definitely pro-cheap and anti-expensive gadgets πŸ™‚

          I admire your memory of my old Cadillac. It was worth it until it stopped on me with lights flashing all over the dashboard in the middle of a state highway! πŸ˜€

          I am now a big fan of the Civic which gives me near 40 mpg on highways! I did a round trip drive from my home to Houston last week and apart from busting a few myths about long drive discomfort and stuff like that, the mileage was pretty awesome!

          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          1. Very True!

          All smartphones have more or less got commoditized.

          I wish they’d do something about the battery. I’m forced to switch off Bluetooth, cellular data etc to conserve battery. πŸ™

          Yes, Google Maps is very useful…use it very often in NYC to walk to my destinations. Very convenient since it shows you the progress too.

          2. You write: I admire your memory of my …..

          My hypothesis is that memory is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol in the system.

          Scientists say liquor destroys brain cells, a proposition I strongly disagree with. Even if true, I must be an aberration because it’s the other way around here.

          • boopalanj   February 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

            On the battery technologies, Not sure if you guys followed this news last year,


            SearchIndia.com Responds:

            How did I miss a news item with “Teenage Girl” in the headline. I must be getting really old! πŸ™

            I just read the piece in your link

            Even if the Khare Kapacitor technology can be applied to mobile phones, it’s at least five years (or more) from availability to the end user.

          • boopalanj   February 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

            Rumor says, after SH, it is only SI who mastered the mind palace technique (method of loci).


            SearchIndia.com Responds:

            I was about to start watching The Chase and now you’ve distracted me….Hmm, with a very novel concept.

            So here I am enlightening myself about Method of Loci:


            Thank You! πŸ™‚

      • Vinith   February 23, 2014 at 3:19 am


        Why not review Buhari (Mount Road branch)?

        It was one of our favorite hang-out spots in the city. If you like Chinese cuisine, I’d suggest Waldorf (not sure if I got the name right) at Adayar. But it’s been a long time since I’ve been there, almost a year I guess. Back then, the food there was very good.


        About the internet connection, I used to get 220 KB/sec download speed at home, which is awful compared to the 1 to 2 MB/sec that I get over here.

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        1. Naveen is a vegetarian!

        2. I get 30Mbps-40Mbps depending on time of day.

        But with the recent blows against Net Neutrality in the U.S., I think we’re all screwed. πŸ™

        If you read the comments in the TOI link I provided earlier, the Internet picture is still awful in India. I suppose we’re in heaven compared to their plight.

        • boopalanj   February 23, 2014 at 11:10 am


          Off-topic, you might also use Data.gov.in for your research and blogging. May be, you already knew about it. [Open Data initiative of Indian government]


          Not sure what office package you might be using, but to analyse, PowerPivot with Excel is great.

          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          I’m not sure If I had previously read about Open Data initiative of Indian government.

          Like everyone else, I too am drowning in the overload of information/analyses/raw data. There’s too much information even about information. πŸ˜‰

          But I’m facing difficulties in opening any of the file formats on Data.gov.in site on the Mac. I don’t have Office, OpenOffice etc on the Mac.

          BTW, here’s something funny:

          I have more storage on my PC than the Indian Defense Internet spy system allots to intercepted traffic. Really. πŸ˜‰

          Indian Government to launch ‘Netra’ for Internet Surveillance

          The government will shortly launch ‘Netra’, the defence ministry’s internet spy system that will be capable of detecting words like ‘attack’, ‘bomb’, ‘blast’ or ‘kill’ in a matter of seconds from reams of tweets, status updates, emails, instant messaging transcripts, internet calls, blogs and forums.

          ….During the meeting, it was also decided that 300 GB of storage space for intercepted internet traffic would be given to a maximum three security agencies, including the IB and Cabinet Secretariat, while an extra 100 GB would be assigned to the remaining law enforcement agencies, the minutes of the inter-ministerial panel meeting showed. Deployment of ‘Netra’ by security agencies is slated to pave the way for a national internet scanning & coordination centre, which India plans to establish along the lines of existing facilities in the UK, US, China and Iran.

          Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/internet/Government-to-launch-Netra-for-internet-surveillance/articleshow/27456983.cms

          • boopalanj   February 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

            Ha Ha.

            300 GB? Highly Plausible. Seems, all Indian government servers may have actually been powered by a pair of memory cards each.

            With a government which, only towards the end of last year, figured out that most of its employees are using private email services the servers of which are located in US, and that could increase the risk of surveillance on sensitive data, we cannot really expect much.

            Btw, this link below raises the same questions on the 300 GB like you, with a comparison of NSA’s data facility, and has an update that Netra is actually “a device” (node) that will be deployed at multiple locations.


            SearchIndia.com Responds:

            How will “Netra” respond to decoys/false alarms?

            India is full of crazy-ass bastards…

            What if the nut-cases keep using “Bomb” “Ayodhya” “Osama” “Nookulear” “RSS” “Kill” “Hindu” “Attack” “Muslim” “Kashmir” randomly just for the heck of it.

            The point is, it’s hard to wipe out determined killers.

            The cost to society is too high in terms of money, loss of privacy, civil liberties, death of innocents etc.

            A more equitable society is the best defense against this hysteria over terrorism. But a more humane order will never come into being because the human core is far too rotten. Right through history – in all geographies – pillage, plunder, rapine, injustice, starvation have been constants in one way or the other. I was reading a piece by Arundhati Roy yesterday where she mentions 800 million Indians living on the margins of existence. That is nothing but daily rape of 800 million Indians, sucking the life out of these unfortunate lives bit by bit, day after day.

  5. msveda   February 23, 2014 at 12:11 am

    After reading the plot of “The Chase“, I am sure Highway is of different proportions to Charlie Sheen movie.

    Maybe, they would have copied the movie from an unknown foreign movie. It’s a May be.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Let’s see!

    I should get The Chase DVD by Tuesday!

    • rvasam   February 23, 2014 at 2:11 am

      The basic premise has been copied, but probably with lesser comedy. Of course, our Bollywood chutiyas must have devised schemes to add some stuff here and there…..

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      I will watch your movie on YouTube after getting some badly need caffeine into my system.

  6. Ramesh Venkataraman   February 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    There is a tamil movie named “Neram”. It is not an extra ordinary movie but quiet ok compared to the kollywood standards. The one thing I liked about the movie was, the director had clearly mentioned in the title card that the story is inspired from many hollywood films.

    This is what sify movie reviews has to say. “The director makes his passion for movies clear by having a title card which takes Quentin Tarantinoβ€˜s famous quote – β€œI steal from every movie ever made’’. Of β€˜course he does not blatantly copy from any film but is inspired by certain filmmakers.”


    I was happy that at least one director had the guts to say he was inspired rather than crediting himself as the story writer. There are countless thieves/morons that exist in kollywood (to name a few gowtham menon, K V Anand, A R Murugadoss (the biggest dickhead of kollywood).

    I wish the government mandates the title card to read “THESE KOLLYWOOD DICKHEADS ARE HIGHLY INCAPABLE AND CAN NEVER MAKE A STORY OF THEIR OWN”. This title card should be put even before the Mukesh gutka ad.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Let me see if I can get Neram DVD here. Unfortunately, Netflix still doesn’t carry it.

    Re: Nazriya Nazim, All I’ll say is that like millions of smart Tamils & Mallus I too consider Fahadh Faasil my sworn enemy. πŸ™

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