Every movie directing by Imtiaz Ali is something to look forward to, he seems to be able to craft characters that stay with you for a long time after leaving the theater. Especially when he teams up with composer AR Rahman and lyricist Irshad Kamil, they create a sensitivity tornado that can break the shell of even the biggest cynics.
They are planning to travel to the UK next week for some promos and special screenings so hopefully we should have some more news for you then, hopefully even an early review.
Until then, the PR team send us some behind the scene shots of Alia Bhatt and some posters.
Highway, presented by UTV Motion Pictures and Sajid Nadiadwala, releases worldwide on 21st February 2014 and on 20th February 2014 in UAE.
With Alia, on the road to reality
With Alia, on the road to reality with matted hair, second hand clothes and not one ‘It’ bag in sight. Alia Bhatt’s transformation from minted school snob Shanaya Singhania to abducted teenager Veera Tripathi of Highway took two months, hundreds of miles and no shampoo. And the man who took the grease paint off the Student of the Year debutant is Aid Narula.
The fashion designer and film stylist, who birthed trends like collared kurtas in Bunty Aur Babli and frayed Nehru caps in Rockstar, started his recce in the weekly flea markets of Raja Garden in Delhi and the journey continued through the haats of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. And when pressed for some authenticity, he simply borrowed from the residents of tiny hamlets like Kalpa and Reckong Peo, where the film was shot. Alia, who inhabited the utopia of short dresses and big labels in her first film, was more than happy with strangers’ hand-me-downs. Veera starts her journey in a T-shirt and track pants; the urbane staples soon give way to oversized ‘borrowed from the boys’ garments and as the terrified teenager finally comes into her own and the motley crew move onto the hills, traditional skirts and turbans follow.
“Imtiaz (director Imtiaz Ali) was very clear that the extension of her wardrobe has to be an organic process. And all additions began with the question, ‘Where will Veera get this from? ‘We even eschewed fitting shoes for the same reason. And every piece is explained, for example the turban she sports in the promotional images was crafted from a blue sweater she wears earlier and then re- purposes as headgear in a scene,” says Aid who travelled through Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir with the cast and crew. This austere approach meant that no backstage manipulations were allowed. After all where will Veera get safety pins or make-up from? And the barebones aesthetic was applied to the film’s leading man Randeep Hooda, who plays truck driver Mahabir Bhatti, as well as some of the 200 extras used in the film. “We used a lot of locals as extras and asked them to bring along their daily wardrobe. And instead of the usual prettying up, we went the opposite direction. So we picked out the most worn out pieces for them to wear,” says Aid. At least the wardrobe budget was never a problem? “We had an unlimited budget of creativity and emotions,” quips the designer.