Director of Highway that will release this Friday, Imtiaz Ali, says that it is a story he rediscovered when he met with Alia and A R Rahman. “I struck upon the concept for the film long ago but it was only once I met Alia and A R Rahman that it all fell in place. Ranbir Kapoor said the movie would do me good and insisted that I make it,” he said during a press call for the film in Bangalore.
Imtiaz calls Highway a film about the dignity of freedom in our society, the narrow minded lives that most of us lead and the voice that we have but don’t use.
Highway’s premiere at Berlin Film Festival was heart-warming, Imtiaz said.
“The movie was screened for a European audience and they are known to walk out if they don’t like the movie. The fact that they were getting the movie, beat by beat, was a good sign. I think they have a soft corner for our kind of movies.”
On south Indian films, Imitiaz said he developed an inclination towards them during his childhood.
“I grew up in Jamshedpur and most of my friends were South Indians. I practically grew up in their homes and used to watch a lot of masala south films without subtitles. In fact, I think Mani Ratnam’s films in Hindi are not as good as their Tamil versions. I have watched the Telugu film Geetanjali, at least, 15 times. I have enjoyed Muthu, Mounaragam and Agni Nakshatram,” he said.
But for all the good memories of films from the south, Imtiaz sets his limit at watching them only. “As a director, if I don’t know the language, I would never be able to make a good (south) film.”