Late last night at 12.45 I was still watching Highway, a remarkably interesting movie that came out earlier this year. One of Rahman’s better soundtracks, but the movie was even better. The acting completely absorbed me. Randeep Hooda, whom I’d last seen in a totally unremarkable role in Heroine, is revelatory. He gets about ten lines, tops. Most of them are yelled. A lot of it is cursing. And the rest of it is just his expression. There’s one scene towards the end where he starts crying because he can’t believe his luck, that I thought was gold.
There are some things about the way this was shot that I liked. It’s subtle — I think, I hope it was meant to be and I’m not making things up — that Veera’s new life is bracketed on either end by a single, definitive gunshot. There are more, soon afterwards, but they’re irrelevant. It’s the first one that counts.
It’s also still unclear to me what relationship Mahabir and Veera have. At one point Mahabir yells at Veera, asking her what her plan was, if they were supposed to go live in the mountains and start a family and have her cook for him in the evenings, or something. And she says, no, she doesn’t know what the plan is yet. But towards the end she sees two children, her and him, playing together quite innocently. And she’s the one who takes care of him like his mother — so, complicated issues there.
Apparently critics didn’t think it was all that great. I actually couldn’t care less. I thought it was riveting. Maybe I’ll think differently when I watch it at something other than the witching hour, or when I’m less emotionally charged. But until then, this movie will stay with me.
Oh, and the soundtrack definitely doesn’t hurt.