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In an interview last year, Imtiaz Ali said he didn’t have a script when he set out to make “Highway”. All he had was a one-line draft and he wrote the film during the shoot.

The journey should influence you, he said, adding that is what should drive the film — not a pre-written script. This rather unusual method of filmmaking seems to have yielded unexpected results.

What you get is a complete departure from Ali’s usual fare — a film that is asĀ  pristine as some of the locations it is shot in; almost meditative in parts and wonderfully understated.

Be warned though, if you are a fan of Ali’s previous works, this film may not immediately appeal to you. The movie is about his two main characters and Ali doesn’t allow too many things to distract from the main story, even using A R Rahman‘s haunting score discreetly. There are stretches where there is no background music or dialogue; and yet, the film never feels like it is dragging.

The story is simple enough. Veera (Alia Bhatt), the daughter of an influential man, is kidnapped at a lonely petrol pump two days before her wedding.