By Subhash K Jha
1. Highway was planned as a small-budged semi-experimental stop-gap film to fill the schedule until Ranbir Kapoor’s dates were available for the big film that Imtiaz will next direct for producer Sajid Nadiadawala with Ranbir and Deepika Padukone on the lead.
2. The total budget of Highway is Rs.8.5 crores. That’s how much it cost to shoot just the Malang song sequence in Dhoom 3. Nadiadwala got so insecure about the low budget costs of production that he would constantly inquire if all the payments were being made during the shooting.
3. The film was originally planned without any songs. But when A R Rahman heard the story he expressed a desire to be part of the project.
4. Highway is a remake of Imtiaz Ali’s own television film of the same title that he shot as part of the series Rishtey telecast on the Zee Channel 14 years ago. Imtiaz says he needed more space and a larger canvas to tell the story .
5. The original film on television starred Aditya Shrivastava and Kartika Rane in the two roles played by Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt in the film.
6. Imtiaz went on locations for Highway with no script. He told producer Sajid Nadiadwala that all he really wanted to do was to tell a story of a journey undertaken by a man and a woman with a past.The script wrote itself out during the journey.
7. Alia Bhatt played the kidnap victim without make-up,and without food and water when her character was shown to be gagged and confined.
8. Cinematographer Anil Mehta shot the film all across various locations in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir in just 60 days.
9. Alia Bhatt met Imtiaz Ali for the first time at age 5. Mahesh Bhatt introduced them ,warning his little daughter, “Be nice to him. Otherwise he wouldn’t sign you when you grow up.” Little Alia had turned her face away rude from the bemused Imtiaz. She still got Highway.
10. Initially Alia and Randeep would not speak to one another because that’s the way the characters are meant to be in the film.Ranbir Kapoor also refused to speak to Priyanka Chopra during Anurag Basu’s Barfi for much the same reasons.