There’s a certain romantic notion about road trips. They allow us to have a sense of control yet, have all the freedom to be impulsive. The ability to steer the way and change the course as and when we want is something that road trips offer as the unique factor and it is this liberty that draws us towards them.
If we look at films that are based on road trips, there is a kind of unpredictability that they offer and that is what excites the audience. When a bunch of fictional characters travel from one place to another, it allows the audience to be with them through their journey. We see a place affecting their choices, decisions and their outlook towards life. The people they encounter and the adventures they take is what transforms them and being with them through this journey gives us a sense of hope.
A film like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara took us on a trip with three friends. We saw them encounter their biggest challenges through the course of the film and in many ways, this trip changed their outlook towards life. Apart from showing us the beautiful locales of Spain, the film worked for the audience on a lot of other levels as well. It gave us a transformative journey that we could connect to and while we were not the ones performing the death-defying stunts, we could understand the characters’ psyche and empathise with them.
In Jab We Met’s case, it showed us that life has the ability to give us hope when we least expect it. It promised us that even in the darkest of times, an accidental travel companion can become the sunshine of our lives and even when we choose the route of escapism, life always knows how to get us back on track.
With Queen, we saw that a trip to an unknown land, however painful it might be in the beginning, can yield what we could never expect. Rani chose to take a trip when she believed she was at her lowest point, but the solo trip turned her into a person that she didn’t even know existed within her.
Movies, as a medium, work for a large part of the audience because they want to believe that there is more to life than the mundane existence they live through every day and watching road trips on the silver screen makes us believe that sometimes, it is possibly the best decision to let life take its own course.
Road trip movies give us hope, for a better life and for a better future. It reinstates the fact that life is not always about the destination but about the journey. It promises that life could change at the next corner, literally and metaphorically.