Like the characters in his movies, Imtiaz Ali was in the realm of uncertainty while shooting his road saga ‘Highway’ through six different states of India with a handheld camera and a raw script.
One thing that is very unique to Imtiaz’s films is that his characters are mostly in transit and he has taken his love for travel to the next level in ‘Highway’. Imtiaz says he let the places and people they visited to shape the story further rather than relying on pre-written dialogues and situations.
“I had a story in my mind but we shot the film almost without a script. I knew what the purpose of a particular scene was but I did not have finished dialogues for it. So, these places influenced the script a lot. I let the story be rather than imposing myself on it,” Imtiaz told PTI in an interview.
Not having much of a script was challenging but liberating also at the same time for the ‘Rockstar’ director. “When you don’t have written dialogues, you have to come up with something that is not only interesting to watch but connects to a particular scene. It should flow like a journey. I often thought ‘I hope I will be able to come up with something’. Those insecurities were there.”
Imtiaz, 42, says once they had a situation where Alia Bhatt, who plays the lead role of Veera in the movie, had to say some dialogues while looking at the sun on a sand dune in Rajasthan but when they reached the location, it was raining.
“Alia kept asking me what am I going to say? And I did not have any dialogues. I told her ‘let us get there, we will think of something’ and she trusted me. What we captured there was true to what she was feeling there than the dialogues I had written while sitting in my room,” Imtiaz says, adding such surprises made the film’s journey more memorable.
Produced by Imtiaz’s Window Seat Films and presented by Sajid Nadiadwala, the film will be released worldwide by UTV Motion Pictures on February 21.
Imtiaz decided to turn producer for the film because this was one story that has been with him for over 15-years and he did not want to make any compromise on the way he wanted to shoot it.
“I am still not interested in producing films but it was important for ‘Highway’. If there was any other producer, I would not have been able to take this much of risk. But, all this was in my head, I did exactly the same things that I had done in other movies except that after every 15 days, I would sign cheques,” says Imtiaz.
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