Director Imtiaz Ali is utterly surprised by the selection of his upcoming road movie “Highway” at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival as he feels such platforms are reserved for filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap.
“Highway”, starring Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda, will have its world premiere in the festival’s Panorama section. It will hit theatres on February 21.
“I felt that only efficient and creative filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap can go to film festivals and to these glamorous cities. This is the first time that a film of mine has been invited to a festival,” said Imtiaz, who has previously directed films like “Jab We Met”, “Love Aj Kal” and “Rockstar”.
“It is the first for me, first for Aliya and people around me are very excited. Frankly this movie was not made for hitting the festival but it is there and I hope it opens door for filmmakers as well,” said the director, who was in the capital for the promotion of the film.
From the typical Bollywood song-dance and frothy romantic tales in his earlier films, Imtiaz has gradually moved on to making different cinema which was very evident in his last release “Rockstar”. Even “Highway” is a much shorter film without any lip-sync songs.
When asked if he made an effort to change his style of filmmaking over the years, he said, “I feel as a director, I have the capability to making different kind of stories with different kind of cinematic expression. I would like to make a full on ‘nach-gana’ film without having any qualms about it, without trying to be intellectual about it. And I would also make a film like ‘Highway’… it just seems incongruous.”
In all his films, Imtiaz’s heroines have left an indelible mark on the audiences’ mind — be it the docile Aditi in “Socha Na Tha”, the outgoing Geet in “Jab We Met”, the impulsive Meera in “Love Aj Kal”.
“I don’t think from their (women) perspective. I am interested in them and their influence upon me has been quite interesting. I think its fascination. Sometimes the traits of my women characters might overlap with each other. But intrinsically they are different from each other. There might be some frequencies that resonate together but not always,” he said.
On why he chose Alia over other older actresses in “Highway”, Imtiaz said, “Alia was perfect for this role. She is not just young but has the heart and maturity to grasp things happening around. So getting an older girl for the part would not have been right for the film.”