What happens when established names like Imtiaz Ali, Sajid Nadiadwala and A.R. Rahman join hands for a project? Well, the movie ends up being one of the most discussed as well as one of the most awaited films of the year. That's exactly what happened with HIGHWAY. However, unlike his previous outings, Imtiaz has opted to taken the road less travelled this time, defying the norms of commercial cinema.
With HIGHWAY, Imtiaz has ventured into the unconventional zone, opting for an offbeat lead pair [Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda], scarce background score, relatively subdued and quiet film with minimal songs and minimum entertainment quotient. While Alia's superlative performance has won acclaim from all quarters, with moviegoers also going ga-ga over the stunning locales of North India, the screenplay as well as the execution of the written material has made the movie an arthouse experience. The length of the movie has also acted as a hindrance.
From the business point of view, UTV's strategy of releasing the film in limited screens [approx 800 screens in India] -- targeting the multiplexes mainly -- was the most appropriate decision. For, the film has performed very well at urban centres primarily [multiplex-dominated], registering growth in those sectors [Mumbai city, Delhi city, Pune, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru]. In other circuits, though the business witnessed escalation on Day 2 and Day 3 after a weak start, the overall business is plain ordinary.
It will be interesting to see how the film fares on weekdays. Also, with SHAADI KE SIDE/EFFECTS arriving this Friday, the new release will pose a tough competition to HIGHWAY.