Last night was the trailer unveiling of Imtiaz Ali‘s Highway starring Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda. Not only was it one of those rare Bollywood events that started relatively on time but also a really sweet experience.
I thought it was really cute that Ida Ali, Imtiaz Ali’s daughter introduced the event. Wearing a Highway t-shirt, she took to the stage and spoke about how this was the film’s first event and Window Seat Films’ first outing. And then she asked us if we were excited to watch the trailer. Adorable!
Imtiaz Ali introduced the cast and called Alia Bhatt on stage. She was honest enough to admit that she was feeling very emotional at that moment. In fact, from her voice and eyes, you could tell she was welling up with tears. She spoke about how she started working at the age of 18 and didn’t have the experience of going away to college or living on her own as some of her peers might have. So, for her, Highway was the experience she was craving to have. She discovered herself in the process of the film and would do anything to go back.
One of the journalists asked Alia about working with ‘Imtiaz sir’. She referred to him as ‘Imtiaz sir’ in response as well. To which, Imtiaz Ali said, “Just because he has asked you a question calling me ‘Imtiaz sir’, you don’t have to call me ‘Imtiaz sir”. But Alia insisted that she needed to and that she always calls him ‘sir’ anyway.
Alia also shared the interesting story of how she signed up for Highway. Imtiaz Ali went to her place with the script, which was much smaller in size compared to other scripts. He gave her the script and said he would hang out with her father, Mahesh Bhatt, who is a close friend of his while she read it. She immediately took to reading it, completed it overnight and agreed to do the film the very next day.
Not one to make too many appearances or speak too much, music maestro A R Rahman also came for the event. Imtiaz Ali, who had no idea which part of the country or world, A R Rahman would be in, sent him a text telling him the event was taking place and he would love for Mr Rahman to come for it. A R Rahman simply replied saying he would be there and kept his word. Even though it’s not a very conventional film, Imtiaz and Rahman worked out the music for it.
I really don’t know what journalists get out of asking silly questions. Last night, one male journalist asked Alia a very long, random question, which Imtiaz had to interject with ‘aapke sawaal khatam hi nahi hote hai (your questions just don’t end)‘. Of course, he followed that with another very strange question: “Alia, agar aap highway pe ho, aur ek taraf se aap ko ‘doll’ sunaai de or dusri taraf se ‘dulhaniya’, toh aap kisko respond karogi? (Alia, if you’re on the highway and from one direction, you hear ‘doll’ and ‘bride’ from the other, what would you respond to?)” Before I reveal what Alia said, I want to know what the question meant. Alia responded saying, “Alia, I’ll respond to Alia.” And Imtiaz just turned his face to the other direction, asking if anyone else had a question.
A lot of production houses have t-shirts, in keeping with the film, for the cast and crew. When Rashmi and I went to interview Imtiaz Ali, of course, we noticed the Highway t-shirt in the Highway diaries. After the interview, we requested Imtiaz if we could have the t-shirts as well and he, very sweetly, got someone to give them to us. Okay, we’re fangirls and haven’t watched the film yet but it’s an Imtiaz Ali film! Anyway, I thought it was very cool that Imtiaz, Alia, Randeep and Ida wore Highway t-shirts for the event and each of them styled it so differently.
If you haven’t caught the trailer, here it is:
I’m quite intrigued and want to watch the film. What do you think of it?
Pix: Viral Bhayani for MissMalini